New early learning centre for Miners Rest

MINERS Rest is to get its first early learning centre.

The $600,000 facility will consist of two kindergarten rooms, an office and storage areas, a kitchen, a foyer, a play area and parking.

Miners Rest resident Scott Hebbard said yesterday it was exciting news. “There’s a lot of young families moving here and now they’ll have this wonderful facility,” Mr Hebbard said.

Mr Hebbard stood as a north ward candidate in the October local government election, largely to improve Miners Rest infrastructure.

He said it was good to see the hard work of the Miners Rest Primary School and the Ballarat City Council, who put in a joint submission, pay off.

“Regardless of the election result, enough pressure was put on to make people pay attention,” he said. 

The Miners Rest centre was one of eight locally to receive more than $2 million in state government capital grant funding announced yesterday by Ballarat MP Simon Ramsay.

“Our delivery of this funding will have a huge impact on children, not just now, but for many years to come,” Mr Ramsay said.

“The funding comes at a crucial time as kindergartens across the state prepare to move to programs of 15 hours per week in the year before school as part of the Universal Access agreement.”

A $600,000 early learning facility will be built next to Ballarat North’s Midlands Kindergarten while the Meredith Kindergarten will get $600,000 for renovations.

Ballarat Specialist School will receive $531,750 for a new pre-school centre hosting three and four-year-old kindergarten programs and a supported playgroup.

The University of Ballarat Children’s Centre at Mt Helen will get $484,472 to start a five-day-a-week kindergarten program. 

Wendouree’s Linda Brown Kindergarten and the Sebastopol Kindergarten will both receive $300,000 to renovate and extend.

The Delacombe Early Learning Centre will also get a $279,397 revamp.

Ballarat City Council chief executive officer Anthony Schinck said it was a fabulous outcome for Ballarat families.

“The state government’s funding of Ballarat kindergartens and the City of Ballarat’s investment will significantly increase the number of places available for our growing population,” Mr Schinck said. “Importantly, it will deliver a brand new purpose built facility for Miner’s Rest, a community that has strongly advocated the provision of early years programs and will welcome today’s existing announcement.”

fiona.henderson@thecourier.com.au

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