New providers for three Nillumbik preschools

This is a stock image of a child playing with play dough.

Three new providers have been engaged to operate preschool services in Eltham North, Hurstbridge and Panton Hill in 2023.

Council this week appointed Diamond Creek Memorial Kindergarten to operate Panton Hill Preschool next year.

Diamond Creek Memorial Kindergarten have historically operated at Collins St Diamond Creek until 2020 when they expanded their service to the Coniston St site after Diamond Creek East Preschool closed down.

Both of these sites are operating at maximum capacity and are led by an exemplary and passionate team of educators and Parent Committee of Management.

The news follows the engagement of Ferguson Park Preschool in June to operate the neighbouring Hurstbridge Preschool site, which closed at the end of 2021. They will expand their program into the preschool in Graysharps Road from 2023, allowing them to extend the hours of their three-year-old preschool program.

Eltham North Primary School will take over the management of the Eltham North Preschool from 2023, strengthening the connections between the two services and the community. The school is well positioned to take on the preschool with its already established links in the community.

These changes follow notification from current preschool provider Sparkways earlier this year that it would cease operation of the Eltham North and Panton Hill preschools at the end of 2022 due to change in the company’s strategic direction.

Nillumbik Shire Council does not operate preschools in Nillumbik. Council instead provides the infrastructure and works in partnership with approved preschool providers by providing training and support as well as managing the preschool central enrolment system for three and four-year-old preschool programs.

Nillumbik Mayor Frances Eyre welcomed the new operators of the three preschools.

“Early years education sets a child up for life and it’s vital that families across the Shire have access to quality local preschool services,” Cr Eyre said.

“Preschools are one of the building blocks of our community. They are an important place to meet and create long-lasting friendships and connections for both children and their families. So this is not only beneficial for the preschools themselves, but the community as a whole.

“We are very pleased that the appointment of providers at all three preschool sites will now provide families with certainty in planning for the year ahead.”

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