A NEW $1.92 million integrated children’s centre for Terang hinges on the backing of the state government.
Corangamite Shire Council has plans for a facility that will replace the town’s ageing kindergarten and maternal and child health centre.
It will also have space for playgroup sessions and visiting children’s services and professionals.
Mayor Chris O’Connor has called on both sides of Parliament to back the new centre ahead of the state election.
Councillors met with Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews and deputy Opposition Leader Jacinta Allan last week to advocate for the project.
“We’d love a commitment either side of government,” he said.
Cr O’Connor said a greenfield site at Terang College’s secondary campus had been identified as a suitable site.
He described the existing pre-school in The Promenade as “old and barely operational”.
Maternal and child health services operate two days a week and are based in an old building in High Street that was constructed in the 1950s.
The shire’s community services manager Helen Durant said the shire was seeking $800,000 in state funding for the centre, with the council contributing $1.14 million.
Ms Durant said a suitable location bordering Dow Street had been identified, concept designs were completed and costings were finalised.
“It would mean all early-year services would operate from one spot in the grounds of the secondary college,” she said.
Ms Durant said the current pre-school only had one main room and its playground was small and configured in an E shape, making supervision of children difficult.
The new centre will allow the preschool committee to offer three-year-old kindergarten sessions at times that are more suitable to parents.
Statistics are showing a six per cent population growth in the 0-4 age group in Terang, with the town’s cheaper housing and proximity to Warrnambool regarded as key factors.
Ms Durant said the shire had worked closely with the kindergarten committee and the school to design the new centre.