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Friday, 7 April 2017

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The City of Greater Bendigo and the State Government will turn the first sod at the new Strathfieldsaye Early Learning Hub.

The $2.7M project will deliver essential early years infrastructure and services to the Strathfieldsaye community, including classrooms for three and four year old kindergarten programs, a new play space, a Maternal and Child Health service, playgroup and a community meeting space.

The hub will provide 66 licenced preschool places for four years olds, which allows for a total of 132 children to attend preschool each week. It will also provide 22 places for a three year old preschool program. The Loddon Mallee Preschool Association will manage the delivery of the hub’s preschool services.

Mayor Cr Margaret O’Rourke said development of the hub had been a long term project and today was an exciting day for the Strathfieldsaye community.

“It is great to see work commence on site. The new hub will be a one-stop-shop where Strathfieldsaye families with young children can access quality learning, play and care services,” Cr O’Rourke said.

“Strathfieldsaye is one of the fastest growing areas of our municipality, so the project is a necessity.

“It is an objective of the City to ensure all children have access to the best possible start in life and that they can visit facilities that encourage healthy growth, wellbeing and development.”

The City maintains 21 early learning facilities, including 17 pre-schools, two childcare centres, one toy library and one playgroup centre.

Member for Bendigo East, Jacinta Allan MP, said the Andrews Labor Government was putting people first by ensuring all Victorians had access to the best early childhood education.

"Integrated early childhood services and kindergartens make a big difference to children’s lives, and we’re ensuring all Victorian children see the benefits,” Ms Allan said.

"This sod turning marks the start of a fantastic project that will improve the lives of local families in Strathfieldsaye".

Planning for the project has taken place in consultation with the Loddon Mallee Preschool Association, local primary schools, sports club members, community groups and users of the current preschool facility.

The City has contributed $2.05M and the State Government has contributed $650,000 to the project.

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