A SOFT-fall area and grass outdoor space was teeming with small children rugged up for the official opening of Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre’s revamped children’s centre.
New features, including a cubby house and tee-pee, proved popular for the centre’s outdoor play space, which has doubled in size after the overhaul.
City of Ballarat family and children’s services executive director Sharelle Knight said children had a strong voice in designing the space and making clear the elements they wanted to see in the playground.
“It’s a great indoor and outdoor space that taps into health and well-being for families,” Ms Knight said.
“It’s really important for parents and carers using the gym to know their children are cared for in a safe space.
“What was once a tired and uninviting space has been designed with input from educators and children, and there is now ample space for outdoor activities and learning.”
Ms Knight said educators and researchers were increasingly acknowledging the important of outdoor play for children’s learning and development.
The children’s centre also had a face-lift inside to freshen up the indoor learning space where there are plenty of books and activities to promote learning.
Opening day on Tuesday morning drew more interested youngsters and their carers to explore the new space than centre manager Simon Coverdale had expected.
The centre still made sure there was plenty of face-painting fun, show bags and balloons to go around.
Ms Knight said the City aimed to provide high-quality facilities for all members of the community under its focus as a child-friendly city.
The revamped outdoor play space also features a bike path, above-ground sand play area and extra garden areas for children to enjoy. Local contractors local contractors Ballarat Groundworks completed the project.
BALC offers care for children aged six weeks to 10 years in the centre from qualified educators each weekday from 8.45am to noon.
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