THE Nationals Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh has congratulated Gannawarra Shire on its funding to expand its children’s care centre to meet increasing demand and preparation for a funded three-year-old kindergarten.
Mr Walsh said the expansion will allow not only maintain the centre’s long day care places it will ensure its overall viability once the early entry kindergarten starts.
He said by increasing infrastructure capacity to deliver kindergarten programs for three- and four-year-olds; it will create an integrated community asset at one location.
“This is a site where families will be able to access early childhood education and care, health and development and family services,” Mr Walsh said.
“It will also be improving access to local and responsive early childhood services for children from vulnerable and/or disadvantaged families, establishing early childhood infrastructure on, or near, school sites,” he said.
“The Gannawarra Children’s Centre expansion project will receive $600,000 through the Building Blocks capacity building grant stream.”
Mr Walsh said work is expected to start early in 2021 and take about 10 months to complete.
He said the centre, at 2 Murray Street, Kerang, is part of the shire’s children’s precinct, along with maternal child health services, kindergarten, immunisations and a visiting service from Noah’s Ark Inclusion Support and Early Intervention Services.
It is open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday for 50 weeks a year.
“We know the most effective education starts with the early years, which is why the shire’s children’s centre was set up as a 96-place service for children from birth to school age,” Mr Walsh added.
“Staff at the centre aim to provide a whole learning environment, where children are free to observe, question, experiment and explore – and this funding will further improve the support it offers the shire and its residents,” he said.