Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall, left, with Minimbah Preschool Director Ursula Kim, Principal Jenny Brown and office manager Bruce Ryan at today’s $570,000 funding announcement in front of the preschool.
Monday, 3 April 2017
FAMILIES in Armidale will have more opportunities to find preschool places following an investment of almost $570,000 to upgrade and expand early childhood education services as part of the NSW Government $8 million Capital Works program.
Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall visited Minimbah Preschool this morning to announce the funding ($569,376), which will enable the preschool to construct an additional classroom and expand its playground to cater for growing demand.
“Minimbah has a waiting list for four-year-old places and this expansion will enable them to take in extra students, ensure they get their 600 hours of education before primary school and allow for an expansion of the already successful transition program,” Mr Marshall said.
“I’m delighted to announce this funding to give local children and families high quality early childhood education in improved and expanded facilities.
“The school won’t have to turn families away any longer and the transition program will be greatly enhanced.”
Mr Marshall was also pleased that the expansion would likely lead to additional Aboriginal educators employed at the preschool.
“It’s great to hear that local families will benefit from upgrades to Minimbah, making it a better place for children to spend their time,” he said.
“Research demonstrates that children benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively from access to quality early childhood education so this program will have a real benefit for families with young children.
“The investment will extend existing pre-school buildings all with the aim to deliver more pre-school places for local families.”
Minimbah Principal Jenny Brown said everyone at the school was “thrilled” with news of the funding.
“Building this classroom will enable us to enrol more four-year-old children who are currently on our waiting list and to have a permanent space to run our Transition to School program in Terms 3 and 4,” Mrs Brown said.
“With the new enrolments we should also be able to employ more Aboriginal staff in our school. This project will be great for the whole community.”
The Capital Works Grants program provides funding for not-for-profit, community-based preschools to increase the number of places for children at 15 hours per week, especially in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage of places.