12 new early learning settings from MACS
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > MACS to build 12 new ECEC services to meet growing demand in Melbourne

MACS to build 12 new ECEC services to meet growing demand in Melbourne

by Freya Lucas

July 08, 2024

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) will build 12 new early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in growing communities in Melbourne in a bid to cater for rising demand, with support from the Victorian Government. 


Victorian Minister for Children Lizzie Blandthorn visited St Lawrence of Brindisi Catholic Primary School last week to announce that $81 million will be provided for the construction of early years education centres at Catholic schools across the north and west of Melbourne.


The 12 new ECEC services will include three-year-old kindergarten and four-year-old pre-Prep rooms, plus a range of other services for school children and families in the broader community, and collectively will provide thousands of additional kindergarten places in Wallan, Weir Views, Mickleham, Craigieburn, Wollert, Thornhill Park, Tarneit and Mount Atkinson.


In order to oversee the new services MACS has created a new entity, MACS Early Years Education (MACSEYE), which will be responsible for the growing network of early years services across the Archdiocese of Melbourne.


“Victoria’s Best Start, Best Life reforms are the biggest changes to the early childhood education sector in a generation and we are delighted to be partnering with the Victorian Government to support this program, which is so important for so many children and their families across Melbourne,” MACS Executive Director Dr Edward Simons said.


“We know that significant population growth in Melbourne’s north and west is driving unmet need in these communities for early childhood education,” he continued.


“These new centres, co-located on Catholic primary school sites, will be available to all families in these suburbs; they will now have a place where their children can learn and grow at kindergarten, and experience a seamless transition from kindergarten to school.”


MACS and MACSEYE “remain ready to proceed” with the additional early years projects on receipt of the pre-election promised funds of $250 million to build and upgrade kindergartens at Catholic schools across the state, he added. 


“MACS is deeply committed to nurturing the development of children in their early years – setting them up for lifelong learning and success. We support the government’s efforts to continue to prioritise the future learning and development of our youngest Victorians.”


With one in five Victorian children attending a Catholic school, MACS has plans to open seven new schools over the coming three to four years in growth corridors across Melbourne, all of which will have a purpose-built early years facility on site.

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