The first sod has been turned to mark the start of construction on the $6.9 million Altona Early Years Hub.

Early Childhood Education Minister Jenny Mikakos visited the site on the Grieve Parade campus of Altona P-9 College for the occasion last week.

The state government has contributed $1.6million to the project.

Ms Mikakos said the government wanted “new and improved kinders”.

“The new Altona Early Years Hub at Altona College P-9 will make school drop-off times much easier for local families and help young children transition to school,” she said.

Mayor Angela Altair said the centre would have 76 long day care and 99 kindergarten places, maternal and child health services, health consulting rooms, meeting spaces and a multi-purpose community space.

“The hub will support children from birth well into high school, all co-located on the site of the Altona P-9 College – providing a one-stop-shop for families,” she said.

“We know from our own experience at the Newport Gardens Early Years Hub, as well as research in best practice from around the world, that the hub model with integrated services really works and we can’t wait to introduce this first-class facility to Altona.”

She said enrolments were being taken now, with the hub expected to open next January.