FAMILIES were in celebration mode yesterday with the official opening of the new $1.2 million Koroit and District Kindergarten.
Premier and member for South West Coast Denis Napthine opened the centre on behalf of the children, staff and families.
The pre-school committee is now able to provide each child with 15 hours of kindergarten each week — a standard that has been introduced across the country.
Demand for the facility has been high with an intake of 60 children plus another 40 enrolled in a program for three-year-olds.
The push for a new facility for the town started several years ago and funding for the project was finally confirmed last year.
Moyne Shire Council chipped in $400,000, Koroit Health Services $300,000, the state government $300,000 and the kindergarten committee $186,000.
Dr Napthine said a jump in the number of young families in the area had meant the old kindergarten was “bursting at the seams”.
He described the opening as a “significant occasion” for Koroit.
“I am pleased to officially open the door to this new facility which has doubled the kindergarten’s licensed capacity and will support the growing Koroit community with high quality early childhood services well into the future,” Dr Napthine said.
“At any one time up to 60 children will be able to use the two modern education rooms while enjoying a vastly improved outdoor play space.”
The new kindergarten is located on the site of Moyne Health Services’ Koroit campus.
Chairman of the former Koroit Health Services board Brian Trotter said establishing a kindergarten on the site was on the wishlist when the aged-care facility was forced to close.
“This is an excellent example of groups working together to benefit the community,” Mr Trotter said.
Pre-school committee member Tammy Langdon thanked the funding bodies for their support.
“We have a great facility here for the Koroit community and it is a prime example of what can be achieved when we all work together,” Mrs Langdon said.