Council wants an early years facility for the future

Published on 14 November 2023

Northern Grampians Shire Council decided not to progress the construction of a modular kindergarten building within Market Square, St Arnaud. An alternative site will be identified to meet the needs of the community and support the roll-out of the Best Start Best Life program. This important initiative of the Victorian Government focuses on providing high quality education and care for all children and families into the future.  

At a council meeting held in Stawell on 13 November, councillors noted that the decision not to progress the construction on the site was based on detailed site and building design work that found managing the impact of flooding made the site unviable to build on. Locating the kindergarten building within a site that is suitable to accommodate a future fit-for-purpose integrated early years facility was part of the decision. 

Furthermore, on 2 October 2023, Council moved a motion acknowledging the need to fast track delivery of the kindergarten building whilst planning for an integrated early years facility that will meet the community’s needs well into the future. The motion also notes that Council will identify a site for the development of a fit-for-purpose integrated early years facility in St Arnaud. Council will plan for a facility that provides children and families access to key early years services, along with a place to connect with other families. 

Councillor Rob Haswell, Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council said, “We want to ensure that St Arnaud has a facility for the future and will undergo a robust and rigorous process to identify a permanent site that will accommodate the kindergarten building, along with a future integrated early years facility. The process will involve several stages and include engagement with key stakeholders. 

“Getting to this point has been difficult. The process of identifying options and consulting with key people and groups was undertaken within a short timeframe, which wasn’t ideal. The Best Start Best Life reform, like all early childhood education and care, will provide greater opportunities for children to develop the skills for their learning and development and set positive foundations for their lives. We are committed to delivering an integrated early years facility that works for our community and accommodates for growth. We want to see better outcomes for children and families throughout the shire,” added Cr Haswell. 

Further updates will be provided by the Council as the project develops. 


Tagged as: