The Mirror News

Foster Early Learning – from planning to completion in 12 months

• Pictured are members of the Project control Group: Kylie Mitchell (Foster Primary), Wil Pruyn, Ralph Hubbert, Sue Millett (PCCC) Jessica Briscoe (DET), Scott Moorehouse and Richard Rasquinho (DET).

PROM Coast Centres for Children, together with Foster Primary School are thrilled to announce that the formal handover of their new building ‘Foster Early Learning’ is edging closer to final practical completion.

Representatives from the Project Control Group were on site last Wednesday conducting a final building inspection to identify any last finishing touches and minor defects. The Department of Education Quality Assessment and Regulation Division assessed the building and outdoor space and gave their tick of approval the very next day.

Anyone that has built a new house knows the excitement and anticipation of the move in. Foster kindergarten teachers Amy Rogers and Amanda Mahomed are ready to set up for 2023. They have been working tirelessly to identify and source the quality equipment and resources that will fit out the indoor and outdoor spaces with all the essentials to create a great early learning space for children.

Our 3-year-old children have been on regular excursion walks up the Primary School to support their transition. They are becoming familiar with the concept of being on the school site and they are also looking forward to exploring their new environment.

The Foster Early Learning project has been fully delivered within 12 months from planning through to final construction. The tight project timeline that has been achieved demonstrated that with excellent cooperation and a collaborative team approach, all parties were well placed to deliver the project on time and within budget.

Establishing early childhood education services on school sites is the model of the future with the recent government announcement of Pre-prep which is set to roll out from 2025. PCCC are proud to be leading the sector as the first service to offer the school site model in South Gippsland, setting themselves up for success to deliver the Pre-Prep reform.

The shift of the kindergarten program onto the school site, will allow for additional long day care places for families back at the Prom Coast Centre which will now offer places primarily for children aged 0-3 years. Demand for long day care places in this age group have surged dramatically over the past 12 months following COVID due to the influx of families working from home and seeking a better work life balance in South Gippsland. As the only long day care centre in the district the PCCC Centre in Foster currently services families from Hedley all the way across to Walkerville. 

Long day care will continue to experience high growth and demand across Prom Coast and PCCC Inc will continue to advocate with South Gippsland Shire to ensure that any new facilities consider both the kindergarten and long day care needs of families across Corner Inlet.

With ageing early childhood facilities in Toora and Welshpool it is essential that the South Gippsland Shire now prioritise how these facilities can support families and businesses to live, work and thrive in the towns that they are calling home. With the higher cost of living and the strong advocacy for returning women to the workforce, the demand for long day care will only continue to grow and cannot be underestimated in any future infrastructure planning throughout our district.


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