Macedon Ranges Shire Council is delighted that its advocacy project for the building of a two-room kindergarten with Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Centre in Lancefield will come to fruition with a very welcome funding announcement of $1.8 million from the Victorian Government.
State Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas MP, made the announcement at the site of the new modular kindergarten and MCH centre located next to Lancefield Primary School on Sunday 30 October, confirming that Council had been successful in receiving a grant under the Victorian Government’s Building Blocks capacity building stream.
In 2021, Council identified that early years services in Lancefield were likely to be strained in the future due to higher levels of demand for services. Community feedback gathered in the development of the Municipal Early Years plan CREATE 2021-2025, also strongly emphasised the need for additional contemporary early years infrastructure in the area to accommodate the growing community.
It was identified that the current Lancefield kindergarten would not be able to meet the increased demand due to population growth, the roll-out of funded kindergarten for three-year-olds, and the increase in hours of pre-prep for four-year-olds. In addition, without a dedicated MCH centre in Lancefield, residents currently travel to Romsey for services, which are also experiencing high demand due to growth in the area.
The new centre in Lancefield will alleviate these pressures while also providing a contemporary, purpose-built kindergarten to accommodate all children that require a place, as well as a dedicated Maternal and Child Health Centre for families. The facility will have capacity to be utilised by the current community-based Lancefield Playgroup, with the potential for access by supported playgroups in the future.
Council’s Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson thanked the Victorian Government for funding this much-needed project which will make a big difference to children, families and the community in Lancefield.
“Lancefield and Romsey are experiencing growth which is expected to continue into the future. Current services in the area are operating at capacity and it became evident further early years services were needed to ensure families were able to sufficiently access kindergarten services and maternal and child health supports.”
“This project is one of Council’s priority projects for 2022 and we are extremely pleased to now be able to deliver it to the Lancefield community,” she said.
It is anticipated that the new centre will be completed and operational for the 2024 school year. For information about Council’s priority projects visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/prospectus.