Relocatable buildings will be added to two Hume preschools as the council battles to meet demand for kindergarten places.
The council, with the help of the Department of Education and Training, will add the buildings to Craigieburn’s Newbury Community Centre and Roxburgh Park’s Bluebird Way Child and Family Centre.
The buildings will be in place for the start of the school year and will add 132 places.
They will cost $1.74 million, with the council to contribute $400,000. The rest of the money will come from Growth Area Infrastructure Contribution funding.
A report to last week’s council meeting said the council had received 1013 requests for places in Craigieburn. However the suburb’s preschools have a capacity for 944 children.
Newbury Community Centre’s kindergarten is bearing the brunt of the growth, receiving 408 requests for 231 places. In Roxburgh Park, 13 children are on the waiting list.
“Throughout 2017, a significant growth in the demand for Newbury preschool and other preschools in the northern growth corridor has been monitored and led council officers to advocate to the state government for assistance in meeting this demand,” the report stated.
Cr Carly Moore said the relocatable buildings would allow the council to extend its preschool provisions in Craigieburn and Roxburgh Park.
“This will create 132 places for families who may have otherwise been unable to be accommodated,” she said.
“It will ensure all children have access to quality education in the year before school.”
The council plans to open four preschools in the next eight years.
According to the report, Aitken Hill Community Centre preschool at Craigieburn South will open in 2019. A preschool will open at Greenvale West in 2020 and at Merrifield northern hub in 202. It is hoped a Cloverton preschool will open in 2025.