HOPES are high that a federal grant could open further expansion options at Balaklava Community Children’s Centre (BCCC) following a visit from Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham last week.
An extra 31 childcare places will be available at BCCC as of February next year.
The centre received a $200,000 State Government Regional Development Fund grant, announced by Minister and Frome MP, Geoff Brock, on Wednesday.
The grant will ensure an on-site expansion goes ahead, with tenders for the work to be issued in late March.
Senator Birmingham’s visit was the following day, the first time a Federal Education Minister has visited the centre in recent memory.
With him was Liberal Candidate for Frome, Kendall Jackson, who had also lobbied for BCCC expansion funds.
Centre director, Dale Gathercole, was supported by BCCC leaders, Cara Nielsen and board chair, Kate Reinke, Wakefield Regional Council CEO, Jason Kuchel, along with Education Department administrators, Jasmin Lowcock and Neil White.
The group then laid bare their desire to follow up the onsite growth with development in the adjoining land at 3 Humphrey Street to host vital early intervention services addressing the district’s poor childhood development issues.
BCCC has three applications lodged for funding with the Community Child Care Fund, a Federal Government grant pool, with successful recipients announced in late March.
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