Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards MP officially opened the new Harcourt Preschool, which has been built on site at Harcourt Valley Primary School, on Monday 26 April 2021.
Families living in Harcourt will now have access to a kindergarten and school at the same location, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.
The early learning facility includes a two-room, 66-place kindergarten, outdoor education space, shared common area and car parking. It was built in partnership with the YMCA Ballarat, the Harcourt Preschool Parent Advisory Group, Harcourt Valley Primary School and the Mount Alexander Shire Council.
The outdoor education space, which has been designed in keeping with the natural surroundings, features a new timber quad swing, sandpit, mud kitchen and cubby house.
A communal space was built to encourage and support the important partnership between Harcourt Preschool and Harcourt Valley Primary School and help the transition for students. This shared area will have a focus on sustainability and environment.
We know that education begins far earlier than a child’s first step into primary school. This new kindergarten will give Harcourt children the early years facilities and education they need and deserve.
Harcourt Preschool is one of 127 successful grant recipients to share in $46.9 million through the Building Blocks capacity building and improvement grants streams, which provide new kindergarten places and improve learning environments.
The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invests a further $38.5 million into the Building Blocks grants program, which supports early childhood providers to create infrastructure capacity for three- and four-year-old funded kindergarten services, improve early learning centres, make inclusive kindergarten settings and deliver information technology devices to eligible services.
Making it easier for parents to ditch the dreaded double drop-off is just part of our commitment to make sure every child can access top notch education close to home.
In addition, to support local jobs and provide economic stimulus to aid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Victorian Budget 2020/21 has provided a further $30 million for the Refurbishment and Minor Works Pro-gram, which will deliver projects that will lift the character and condition of early childhood centres.
The Labor Government will invest $1.68 billion in kindergarten infrastructure over the next 10 years to support the rollout of universal funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten across the state.
In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing $5 billion this decade to deliver two years of funded universal kindergarten for all Victorian children, with the roll-out of Three-Year-Old Kindergarten underway. This expansion will support the rollout of up to 15 hours of funded universal kindergarten across the state by 2029.