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$1.1M of child care infrastructure officially opened in Golden Plains Shire

Gayle Tierney MP, Member for Western Victoria, officially opened the Bannockburn Family Services Centre extension and the Rokewood Kindergarten upgrade projects in Golden Plains Shire on Thursday 28 April.

Together, these projects provide the space and enhancements required to deliver improved services and expand service delivery, with 60 additional places for children across the two projects in an effort to help address Golden Plains Shire’s growing population.

The Bannockburn Family Services Centre extension includes a significant extension to the original building creating an additional 45 places for children, as well as a major expansion and transformation of the outdoor play space.

The Rokewood Kindergarten upgrade includes an extension and renovation of the kindergarten, which now has an additional 15 places for children and a significantly increased service capacity for kindergarten, occasional care and maternal and child health.

The projects are part of a multimillion dollar suite of four projects across the Shire (Rokewood, Bannockburn, Teesdale and Meredith) to help address existing demand for early years services and the Shire’s forecast growth in children aged 0-4 years.

Golden Plains Shire Council Mayor, Cr Des Phelan, said the two projects are very important to Golden Plains Shire.

“The Shire’s percentage population of 0-4 year olds is higher than Victoria’s according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (2011).

“Furthermore, the number of 0-4 year olds in Golden Plains Shire is projected to increase by 32% by 2031 – this is significant.

“Statistics aside, these projects mean a lot to families with young children in Golden Plains Shire. In particular, parents and carers of Rokewood and surrounds now have a one stop shop for quality family care without having to travel outside their towns, even to Geelong and Ballarat, to access excellent services for their children,” Cr Phelan said.

Both projects were funded by multiple sources – the Rokewood Kindergarten extension was supported by $228,000 from the Victorian Government, $95,000 from Golden Plains Shire Council and $50,000 from the Rokewood Kindergarten Committee; and the Bannockburn Family Services Centre extension was funded by $342,000 from Golden Plains Shire Council, $310,000 from the Victorian Government, $50,000 from the Bannockburn Kindergarten Committee and $26,000 from a Health Sun Shade Grant.