Melbourne’s west has welcomed the brand-new Saltwater Community Centre, offering 198 additional places across its three and four-year-old kindergarten programs.
Situated in the fast growing suburb of Point Cook, the $7.3 million centre was officially opened on Thursday by Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Member for Altona Jill Hennessy.
“The Andrews Labor Government is making Victoria the Education State – which means building early years facilities to meet demand in our fastest growing communities,” said Ms Mikakos.
“Hubs like Saltwater, with flexible programs and meeting spaces will provide for the needs of this local community.”
The centre brings together family services and kindergarten under the one roof, with rooms for maternal and child health consulting, playgroups, parenting groups and computer learning.
Going one step further in bringing a greater sense of community to the area, the hub also includes an artist-in-residence studio, outdoor amphitheatre, and community garden and kitchen, which has already seen the centre win two awards at the Victorian Architecture awards.
“This new hub means Point Cook families will have access to more quality kinders, close to home,” said Ms Hennessy.
Mikakos opens new Korin Korin Child and Family Centre in Wollert
Meanwhile, another child and family centre has officially opened in Wollert, offering the local community 198 places across its three and four-year-old kindergarten program.
The new $4.15 million Korin Korin hub brings family services and kindergarten under the one roof, including a maternal and child health consulting room, a meeting room and space that can be used by playgroups and parenting groups. It also includes a landscaped outdoor play area.
The Victorian Government contributed $1.6 million towards the hub as part of the $10 million boost in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, with the City of Whittlesea Council also contributing.
Ms Mikakos was joined at the opening by Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny who is positive “this one stop shop gives the families of Wollert a range of early childhood services all under the one roof.”
“Infrastructure projects such as these ensure local children’s services have the space and flexibility they need to deliver 15 hours of kindergarten alongside a range of other vital early years programs,” she said.
These are just two of the many child care facilities the state government is investing in, with $60 million allocated to building and upgrading kindergartens and children’s centres.
To add to the initiative, as of this year, $83.7 million is being delivered over four years to support improved educator-to-child ratios, which allows for more one-on-one time for each child.
Applications for the 2016-17 Children’s Facilities Capital Program recently opened and close 12 August 2016. For more information visit www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/providers/funding/Pages/capitalprogra…