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$1.8 million for Lancefield kinder, health centre

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MACEDON Ranges Shire Council is celebrating $1.8 million of State Government funding for a two-room kindergarten with an attached maternal and child health centre in Lancefield, announced in one of the final acts before the government went into pre-election caretaker mode last week.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas announced the money at the site of the future modular kindergarten and health centre next to Lancefield Primary School, funded through the government’s Building Blocks Grants capacity building stream.

In 2021, Council identified that early years services in Lancefield were likely to be strained in the future due to and expected increases in demand.

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Community feedback gathered in the development of council’s municipal early years plan CREATE 2021-2025 also emphasised the need for additional early-years infrastructure to accommodate the growing Lancefield community.

Mayor Jennifer Anderson said council identified that the current Lancefield kindergarten would be unable to meet the increased demand due to population growth, the roll-out of funded kindergarten for three-year-olds, and an increase in hours of pre-prep for four-year-olds.

She said without a dedicated maternal and child-health centre in Lancefield, residents currently travelled to Romsey for services, which are also experiencing high demand.

“Lancefield and Romsey are experiencing growth which is expected to continue into the future,” she said.

“Current services in the area are operating at capacity and it became evident further early years services were needed to ensure families were able to sufficiently access kindergarten services and maternal and child health supports.

“This project is one of council’s priority projects for 2022 and we are extremely pleased to now be able to deliver it to the Lancefield community.”

Council expects the new centre to be completed and operational for the 2024 school year.

The facility will be available for use by the current community-based Lancefield Playgroup, with the potential for access by supported playgroups in the future.

Cr Anderson thanked the State Government for funding the project.

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