A new purpose-built education centre is now allowing one of Ballarat’s largest schools to provide care and education services to infants and toddlers for the first time.
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis today officially opened Ballarat Grammar’s Centre for Early Education.
Ms Ellis said the $4 million centre meant the school could now cater for children as young as six months and more parents could avoid the dreaded ‘double-drop off’.
“The new Centre for Early Education is much more than a child care service,” Ms Ellis said.
“It is giving Ballarat children a great start in their education well before they enter school.
“We know that if you invest in quality education at an early age, you are making a significant contribution to a child’s development and giving them the best possible chance at excelling when they’re older.
“In addition, working parents who have older children attending Ballarat Grammar and younger children can now make their drop offs at one convenient location.”
Ms Ellis said previously the centre only cared for children from three years in limited space and facilities.
“Thanks to this brand new building and upgraded surroundings, there are now more pre-kindergarten and kindergarten-aged children at the centre as well as a new cohort (6 months-3 years) receiving quality care and education at Ballarat Grammar,” Ms Ellis said.
“The centre is also designed and built in a very environmentally sustainable manner with the building’s direction maximising sunlight in the winter, and computer-controlled ventilation, energy efficient evaporative cooling and shading trees to help keep the centre cool in summer.”
Ms Ellis said the Australian Government is working to have all children experiencing the best possible start during the critical first five years of a child’s life.
“That’s why the Government is providing record funding of $23.2 billion over the next four years, and has implemented historic reforms to create a world-class system of integrated early childhood education and care,” Ms Ellis said.
“We increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 per cent under the previous Government to 50 per cent, and the cap from $4354 to $7500 per child, per year.
“This has resulted in a record number of families accessing child care and a record number of centres now open to meet the demand.”