DRYSDALE’s Bella Wiyn Birralee Family Centre recently opened, providing early childhood education and care to locals.
The centre is currently providing long day care and sessional kindergarten, and will also offer maternal and child health services, consulting rooms and a large multipurpose community space once lockdown restrictions ease.
The $13.3 million centre was primarily funded by the City of Greater Geelong Council, with $1.6 million coming from the state government’s Children’s Facilities Capital Funding Program.
City of Greater Geelong mayor Stephanie Asher said the city appreciated the state government’s support.
“Our child and family centres are a great demonstration of state and local government working together to directly improve the local services and facilities available to our community.
“We thank the state government for their contribution to the Bella Wiyn Birralee Family Centre, and their ongoing support for Greater Geelong families.”
Bella Wiyn Birralee is the Wadawurrung translation of “Bellarine children”.
The city’s recent 2020-21 Proposed Budget also includes funds to plan the replacement of children’s centres in Lara Curlewis, Bell Park and Thomson.
The budget also includes $405,000 to upgrade existing facilities such as childcare centres, kindergartens and occasional care venues.
Social Inclusion portfolio chair Cr Sarah Mansfield said the centres would improve the lives of children in the region.
“Not only do our family centres provide vital support to parents, particularly during this time, they also enrich and brighten the lives of many young kids.
“The high-quality facilities, educational focus and nurturing environment all come together to make a place that children are excited to go to each day.”