FAMILIES in the Highton area are now enjoying a range of children’s services in a new centre jointly funded by the City of Greater Geelong and the state government.
The $5.5 million Highton Child and Family Centre was officially opened last week by Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Geelong mayor Bruce Harwood.
The centre in Belle Vue Avenue was developed through a $1.6 million contribution from the Victorian Government and $3.9 million from the city.
The new five-star energy-rated facility includes a double room kindergarten, catering for 66 children with an adjoining architect-designed licensed play space; two maternal child health consulting rooms with a dedicated waiting room; a multi-purpose room for children’s playgroup activities, with a separate play space for users of the room; an afterschool care service; staff administration facilities; and on-site car parking.
Young families in the area will benefit from the wide range of services at the one-stop centre, which is built on Bellaire Primary School’s bottom oval.
The relocated Highton Preschool, which is run by Bethany Kindergarten Services, is the major tenant.
Roslyn Playgroup and the City’s Maternal and Child Health service are also operating from the site.
Bellaire Primary School is looking forward to offering after-school care from Term 2.
The city is spending more than $50 million to rebuild or upgrade children’s centres and service hubs in Armstrong Creek, Corio, Drysdale and Leopold.
This includes the newly-opened $17.24 million Armstrong Creek East Community Hub, which is the biggest integrated centre of its kind in Greater Geelong.
“The City of Greater Geelong is focused on providing our young families with access to a wide range of children’s services in one-stop modern venues,” Mr Harwood said.
“By locating all these children’s services under the one roof, it makes it quicker and easier for families to access what they need in their own community.
“The state-of-the-art facility has replaced the nearby Highton Kindergarten, which after 60 years had outgrown its old site.”
Mr Andrews said great kindergarten were the foundation of lifelong learning.
“That’s why we are delivering historic investment in early childhood services across the state and making three-year-old kinder a reality for even more families.”