Avenel Preschool receives $566,000 upgrade to support three-year-old access
Strathbogie Shire Council joined the Hon. Jaclyn Symes MLC, Member for Northern Victoria and Minister for Regional Development, Agriculture and Resources to open the new and improved Avenel Preschool late last week.
The $566,000 upgrade and extension included extensions to the buildings, reconfiguration of the entrance, a new reception area, a consultation room and a meeting room. Also included was the provision of a second playroom, an all abilities toilet and a new kitchen.
A dedicated Maternal and Child Health room was also part of the upgrade, allowing for a Maternal and Child Health nurse to be stationed at the new facility on a part-time basis.
The extensions will mean the kindergarten has a greater capacity to educate and care for children in the district, with the service now able to cater for 60 places, a significant increase from the previous capacity, which was 28 places.
Currently only operating for limited hours, the extensions will also mean the service is able to integrate an early childhood learning centre, fun groups, supported playgroups, as well as after school care, and, in future, long day care provision.
The extensions were funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Training, and Ms Symes commented on “how impressive the building design and functionality was for the Avenel children, educators and community to enjoy and use”.
During the visit, she also took the opportunity to announce an additional $10,000 of funding from the Victorian Government for Avenel Preschool to purchase educational resources for use in the new facility.
The Strathbogie Shire area was one of six local government areas selected for the rollout of three year old kindergarten in 2020, which will include the provision of 15 hours of subsidised kindergarten programs for all eligible children.
Strathbogie Shire Mayor Amanda McClaren said Avenel “has become a popular place for young families to settle”, with “significant growth” in attendance at both the Avenel Preschool and the local primary school over the last few years.
“The Avenel Preschool has been transformed into a one-stop-shop for early childhood which is fantastic for all of our young families in Avenel and surrounds,” Mayor McClaren said.