Maree cutting the ribbon at the new Shine Bright Early Years Hub with students, staff and board members.

On Tuesday 24 March Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards MP visited Maiden Gully to open the new Shine Bright Early Years Hub.

The new early years hub will deliver:

  • A new early learning centre with a capacity of 152;
  • 120 four-year-old kindergarten places
  • 60 three-year-old kindergarten places
  • Long day care to support working families

The hub will also have Allied Health and Medical practitioners on site, and it is envisaged that early assessment of developmental issues, intervention and support will be offered as a ‘wrap around’ service model of education, childcare and health support for children and their families.

The facility is also designed to offer quality professional development and training opportunities for the 200 Shine Bright staff (Teaching, Diploma & Certificate III) and non-Shine Bright staff. Options to involve third party entities such as La Trobe University and TAFE are also being explored.

With Maiden Gully being a major Bendigo population growth area, this new hub will be most welcome to local residents.

“Creating more places for Maiden Gully children to attend kindergarten and ensuring their access to the best facilities across Victoria is vital to ensuring a world-class education in the early years,” Ms Edwards said.

The project was funded via the Building Blocks program, which helps kinders boost capacity and modernise facilities. The Andrews Labor Government contributed $1.6 Million to this project.

The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invests a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program.

Building Blocks grants enable early childhood providers to partner with the Victorian government to build new services such as this one, or to make minor or major upgrades worth up to $200,000 to existing centres.  These projects lift the character and condition of early childhood centres, as well as support local jobs and provide economic stimulus to aid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway this year across 21 local government areas and across the rest of Victoria in 2022.

Posted by:Maree Edwards MP