Early Learning Centres

Background

Within Baw Baw Shire there are 15 kindergartens, a mixture of Council owned and privately-owned facilities. Council offers a central enrolment service for kindergarten places.

Over the past few years, Council has been working in partnership with both State and Federal Governments to deliver new Early Learning Facilities co-located at primary schools. This model has proven to be very effective.

Situation Analysis

Kindergarten places in the larger towns of Warragul, Drouin, Trafalgar and Yarragon townships are at, or exceeding capacity. In some cases, in these towns, there are waiting lists for many children unable to find a space in a class.

While upgrading facilities in the past has found places for our increasing population, this approach is no longer sustainable for our region’s growth, placing significant demand and pressure on kindergarten places and facilities. At this point, enrolment data and population trends suggest that we will need to build a new kindergarten facility in the Shire every two years.

What is Needed?

While the Baw Baw Shire Council has actively pursued the Victorian State Government’s annual funding program for new early learning centres, this is a competitive funding process and if successful, will only part fund one new centre in the short term. Infrastructure commitments from State and Federal Governments are necessary to assist growth areas like the Baw Baw Shire address these urgent community needs.

Baw Baw Shire Council will need to provide a new Early Learning Centre every two years to meet the needs of our growing population. Centres in the towns of Warragul and Drouin are the most pressing priority.

Cost

$3–4m per centre.