Grafton to have first preschool in over 20 years, with Turf St ready for 2021

Grafton to have first preschool in over 20 years, with Turf St ready for 2021

by Freya Lucas

January 12, 2021

Clarence Childhood Services Association is excited about what 2021 will bring, with the New South Wales rural community of Grafton set to open its first preschool in over two decades, creating permanent and part-time employment for at least six staff members and providing daily care for 20 children.


The Clarence Community Preschool is due to open in July this year, and will be located opposite the Clarence Family Day Care headquarters in Turf Street, local news source Clarence Valley Independent said. 


Both the purchase of the property on which the preschool will be located and some of the cost of refurbishment have been supported by a $431,000 investment by the NSW Government through its $7.5 million Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program, which aims to increase the availability of preschool places in high demand areas throughout the state.


Clarence Family Day Care purchased the site in 2018, after service manager Cristie Harris was approached by staff members who outlined the “unique opportunity” offered by the property, and the demand for preschool services within the area. 


Ms Harris hopes that the preschool will have flow on effects for other businesses within the Grafton community, freeing up parents for work through the provision of quality care, as well as employing locals to build and work within the service. 


Improvements scheduled for the service include accessible access changes, the installation of solar panels and play equipment and the construction of a vegetable garden. Rooms inside the facility will be opened up to create larger spaces, and ‘child friendly’ facilities will be added. 


The aim of the changes, Ms Harris said, is to retain the homelike feel of the space, creating a warm and welcoming environment.


To read the original coverage of this story please see here