Brimbank City Council has welcomed $750,000 in Victorian Government funding to help create room for an extra 33 children at Deer Park West Kindergarten, through a one-room modular expansion to help meet growing demand for places.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Ranka Rasic welcomed the Department of Education and Training contribution of $750,000 through the Building Blocks capacity building grant stream, adding to Council’s $606,000 commitment to the project.
“There is huge demand for places at Deer Park West Kindergarten which is already operating at capacity, and this funding will help us create an additional modular room for another 33 children to attend,” Cr Rasic said.
“Attending kindergarten is a crucial part of every child’s play, development and learning.
“Demand for kindergarten places is growing across Brimbank, and that it will continue to increase with the universal roll-out of three year old kindergarten.
“This investment will help us meet the short term need for additional places as we work with the Department of Education and Training (DET) to develop and agree on the Kindergarten Infrastructure and Service Plan that will address long term needs both at Deer Park West and across Brimbank.”
Cr Rasic acknowledged and thanked the Minister for Early Childhood, and Member for Western Metropolitan, Ingrid Stitt MP, and the Member for Kororoit, Marlene Kairouz MP, for supporting Brimbank Council’s advocacy around this project.
“Brimbank Council is committed to early years’ education, so we’re delighted to partner with the Victorian Government to deliver this project to the Deer Park West community,” Cr Rasic said.
Brimbank Council provided a comprehensive submission to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry for Early Childhood Engagement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities, as well as hosting an Inquiry Hearing at the Council Chambers in Sunshine, in November 2019.
“It’s fantastic to see Victorian Government investment in early childhood education within the Brimbank community, following Council’s submission calling for greater investment, resources and support to assist local families and children,” Cr Rasic said.
Deer Park West Kindergarten Committee President Melissa Loschiavo together with all the Kindergarten educators welcomed the announcement: “This will be a fantastic benefit to the families in our community, especially as we plan for 3 year old funded program to begin in 2022.”
Construction of the additional modular room at Deer Park West Kindergarten is planned for completion in January 2022.
In June 2020 Brimbank Council adopted the Brimbank Children’s Strategy 2020-2024 which guides Council’s work to ensure that Brimbank is a place where children can learn, develop, play, connect, and feel welcome and safe.
Council’s Transforming Brimbank 2020 Education Agenda, and 19 Point Advocacy Plan for COVID Recovery, both identify and advocate for greater investment and support to improve early childhood facilities, programs and services across Brimbank.
This $750,000 State Government investment now brings Brimbank’s total amount of advocacy outcomes for 2020 to more than $100 million, for various local infrastructure, resources, initiatives and projects across the municipality that will help support employment, education, health, wellbeing and socio-economic outcomes throughout Brimbank as part of the COVID-19 recovery phase.