IT IS officially playtime in Torquay North with the formal opening of the Kurrambee Myaring Community Centre (KMCC).
Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos visited the centre in Merrijg Drive on Tuesday to officially open the $6.775 million project, which is supporting more than 100 families that are using kinder and occasional care services.
As well as four kindergarten rooms, the centre – which began operations in mid-February – has an occasional care room, private breastfeeding/changing facilities, a space for young people, and Maternal and Child Health services.
KMCC has three consulting rooms, three multi-purpose rooms and a kitchen the public can hire.
Environmentally friendly design features include solar panels, water tanks, and a herb and vegetable garden.
The Surf Coast Shire invested $5.175 million in the centre (including developer contributions) and $1.6 million from the state government (announced by the former Coalition government in 2014).
Surf Coast mayor David Bell acknowledged the advocacy of Liberal South Barwon MP Andrew Katos in securing the $1.6 million grant, and said the opening of such a great asset was an important day for the shire. “Kurrambee Myaring is an Aboriginal name meaning ‘merry laugh, here in this place’ and it is a very fitting name, as I’m sure much merry laughter has already occurred here many times over and will occur countless times in the future.
“With our population growing, this is a substantial investment in meeting the needs of the community. “Above all, this centre is a welcoming space that is open to all people… anyone who comes through this door will be provided support in getting access to the help that they need.” Ms Mikakos said KMCC was about meeting the needs of the community. “The co-location of the services is what’s really going to make this centre really special in the future.”
She said Labor had just announced that its coming state budget would provide another $43 million towards kindergarten infrastructure, as well as funding for language teaching and school readiness programs (such as speech therapists and child psychologists) at kindergartens for the first time. “We want to make sure no child misses out on a quality kindergarten experience, no matter their postcode.”