January 23, 2012
Childcare in Yarram is another step closer following the announcement of $900,000 to progress the project.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has commended Wellington Shire Council for making childcare in Yarram a priority and allocating $900,000 of its recent Local Government Infrastructure Program allocation to the proposed community hub to be built in Grant Street.
Mr Chester said the Shire had completed a feasibility study to determine what services should be included in the community hub but would need additional funding before construction could begin.
“Council will consider the recommendations of the study and determine which option it will progress, but either way, childcare is to be included as a core service,” Mr Chester said.
“The community hub will include a public library, kindergarten and childcare, community meeting spaces and shire service centre.
“Other potential inclusions that are being investigated are community health services or an indoor pool.
“Construction is able to be structured in a way to allow a childcare centre to be built as soon as funding for the childcare component can be secured. Further services can then be added as further funding is secured.
“I understand the Shire is currently working through an application for a $1.2 million grant through the State Department of Early Childhood and Development and if successful with this application, would be in a position to begin construction of a childcare centre.”
Mr Chester said it was a credit to the local community to see the project take another significant step forward.
“This project started about six years ago when a group of proactive local mothers were unable to accept employment in the community due to the lack of childcare,” Mr Chester said.
“These mothers worked together with employers and community groups to lobby various levels of government and despite many frustrations along the way, they have not given up on this essential service.
“I congratulate the community for its commitment and endeavour and hope that it’s not too much longer before the additional funding can be sourced.”
Mr Chester said Deputy Premier Peter Ryan had been instrumental in delivering the $900,000 in funding and was a great supporter for the Yarram childcare project.
Mr Chester said he would continue to work with the Yarram community and Mr Ryan to lobby for funding for the hub project and childcare services.
“I have contacted the Federal Minister for Childcare on many occasions in the past year to make sure she is well of the need for childcare in Yarram and will continue to lobby for government funding at every opportunity,” he said.