Funding bid for Purnim preschool refurbishment

AN upgrade of the Merri Kindergarten at Purnim West has moved a step closer to becoming reality.

 Moyne Shire Council has applied for $350,000 in state government funding from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development while Moyne has committed $199,111.

The council has indicated it will also be aiming to attract funding from other sources. 

Shire chief executive David Madden said the chance to apply for funding was a good opportunity.

“The opening of the new kindergarten at Koroit this year was in response to the need for increased capacity while at Merri it will be a case of bringing the standard of the building up to the present day,” Mr Madden said.

“We are excited about the chance to lodge an application for this funding for what is an important project.”

Mr Madden said an announcement timeline for the funding is yet to be confirmed, but it would be for the next financial year.

He said if council was successful in securing the funding it would aim to start works immediately.

Mr Madden said while the current facilities at Merri were adequate, funding would help bring it in line with the newer facilities at places such as Koroit and Port Fairy.

The upgrade would include an extension, a new children’s bathroom and kitchen and the refurbishment of the current kitchen, administration and storage areas.

The Merri Kindergarten is licensed for 27 children and with a rotational model it now provides a learning space for 36 four-year-old and 20 three-year-old children. The numbers mean there is  no scope for an increase in four-year old numbers.

Its location on the northern rural fringe of Warrnambool is earmarked as a growth area and it is the only children’s service in a 30-kilometre radius.

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