Early learning in Ballarat, Cardigan to be boosted by $9 million

Almost $9 million will be spent on three early learning facilities in Ballarat and Cardigan. 

The biggest of the projects will be a new $7.24 million Lucas Integrated Children’s Centre, which will include 66 kindergarten places for children, long day care, maternal and child health and a community meeting room. 

The announcement was made on Friday by the City of Ballarat and Children and Early Childhood Development Minister Wendy Lovell, who said the projects would meet the demand for early years services in the community. 

“It is a fantastic result for the Ballarat Community,” she said. 

“It is important we put these facilities in a growing area like Lucas where families are coming to, because children are in early childhood centres from day one.” 

The state government provided $2.45 million to the projects, with funding of more than $5.6 million being provided by the City of Ballarat. 

A $1.43 million facility will also be constructed at Phoenix P-12 Community College at Sebastopol and will provide 55 kindergarten places for both three and four-year-olds. 

A $199,539 revamp of the community centre at Cardigan Village will result in 33 kindergarten places and will provide space for playgroup programs.

City of Ballarat Mayor Josh Morris said the funding was identified in council plans due to growth predictions. 

“Lucas, as we know, is growing significantly and we as a city are growing at over 2 per cent,” he said. 

“We certainly know there are many young families that are moving from Melbourne to Ballarat ... so we need to be keeping up with that increasing demand.”

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