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Published Monday 15 March 2021
Tags:General, Media Release

Boost for early learning as new centre opens in Wallan

More than 60 children have started their early learning journey at the new Wallan East Family and Children’s Centre.

Funded by the Victorian Government and Mitchell Shire Council, the $2.4 million centre was officially opened by Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and Mitchell Shire Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson on Friday 12 March.

The centre includes a kindergarten operated by Kids First, as well as Council’s maternal and child health and immunisation services.

This year, Kids First has 22 children enrolled in 3-year-old kinder and 44 children enrolled in 4-year-old kinder at the centre.

With the capacity to accommodate almost 200 children, and the rollout of funded 3-year-old kinder from 2022, the centre will incorporate a transitional model that will see 99 children enrolled in 3-year-old kinder who will move in to the 4-year-old kinder program the following year.

Over the next 20 years, the projected population of three and four-year-olds living in Wallan will grow by 161 per cent, from 584 in 2021 to 1522 in 2041.

Maternal and child health appointments will be available on Mondays and Thursdays from the centre, with plans to offer immunisations in the future.

First-time parent groups, young parent groups and supported playgroups will also be in run at the centre along with breastfeeding clinics and health promotion sessions.

The Wallan East Family and Children’s Centre was delivered with $2.3 million from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund and a Council contribution of $164,000.

This facility is a relocatable building, the first of its kind in Mitchell, enabling early delivery of services in a fast growing and emerging community.

The centre was delivered in partnership with developers Newbridge Estate and Resimax Group, who fast tracked the delivery of community land for this project.

Comments from Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson

“Community facilities like the Wallan East Family and Children’s Centre are vital for bringing people together and creating a strong sense of community.

“I’m sure the many young families in Wallan East will appreciate being able to access early years services so close to home.

“This new centre will play a key role in servicing the immediate needs of the growing local community by offering local, accessible maternal and child health and early learning services."

“With our kinders in Wallan already nearing capacity and the projected population of 3 and 4-year-olds expected to grow by 161 per cent in the next 20 years, it’s vital we work with our partners to invest in early education infrastructure now."

“I’d like to sincerely thank the Victorian Government, especially our local members Jaclyn Symes and Danielle Green. We simply couldn’t fund a centre of this scale on our own at this stage in our population growth cycle.

“I look forward to seeing the centre become a well-loved community hub for years to come."

This page was last updated on 19 March 2021.

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