Release type: Media Release

Date:

New $2.25 million childcare centre for Bendigo families

Ministers:

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

Joint Media Release with the Premier of Victoria, the Hon John Brumby.

Premier John Brumby and Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard today announced $2.25 million for a new integrated childcare centre for Bendigo.

In Bendigo today, Mr Brumby said the centre would provide at least 50 new long-day care places for the Bendigo community.

The Australian Government is investing $1.6 million, the Victorian Government is contributing $500,000 and the Greater Bendigo City Council is providing $150,000 to build the new centre.

“Our Government is taking action to give Victorian families access to the services they need so their children have the best possible opportunity to learn and develop to their full potential,” Mr Brumby said.

“The centre, to be based on the Comet Hill Primary School site, will make life easier for local working families.

“The new centre at Bendigo will give families access to better integrated family and children’s services.

“It will include long day child care, a kindergarten, out-of-school hours services, maternal and child health services and early childhood intervention and family support services.”

Ms Gillard said the centre was expected to be operational by the end of the year.

“The first few years of a child’s life set them on a road to adulthood – we want that road to take them to good health, education and social development,” Ms Gillard said.

“An integrated children’s centre will be built, which initially will have capacity for 90 places, including at least 50 new long day care, kindergarten and occasional care places.

The new Bendigo centre is one of 11 Early Learning and Care Centres in Victoria, designed to provide high quality, affordable and accessible services to all Australian families.

The Early Learning and Care Centres are part of the Australian Government’s $114.5 million investment to establish 38 new Early Learning and Care Centres across Australia.

Acting Early Childhood Development Minister and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the provision of services from a shared site would be more convenient for families, particularly families with several children of primary school age or younger.

“The Brumby Labor Government knows how important early education is to the prosperity of our State. That’s why we’ve committed more than $47 million to establish 98 new integrated children’s centres across the State,” Ms Allan said.

“This centre will be great news for local families in the area who will benefit from integrated more places to ensure their children can get a great start in life.

“There are 51 already open and operating across Victoria.”