Diggers Rest Pre-School is reaching the next stage of its redevelopment, with a major upgrade set to be completed by January.

A sod turning ceremony last week marked the beginning of the next stage of the $1.3 million upgrade that will enable an additional 66 places to be offered.

Melton mayor Bob Turner said it was a significant day for the pre-school.

“We are committed to helping young people get the best start by creating more kindergarten places, particularly as the young population grows,” Cr Turner said.

“Extra kinder places will mean more early learning opportunities for the growing number of three and four year olds living in Diggers Rest.

“The City of Melton is one of Australia’s youngest and fastest-growing areas … about seven per cent of the Diggers Rest population is under four years old.

“Projects like this are critical to ensuring our youngest residents have a space to learn, thrive and prepare for school.”

The extension will deliver a new kindergarten room, staff offices, amenities and external play space that will help meet growing demand for early years services in the Diggers Rest area.

The project is being funded by a $350,000 grant from the state government and a $979,000 contribution from council.

Local MP Josh Bull said it was an important project for the local community.

“Diggers Rest is not just a fantastic community, but a growing community,” Mr Bull said.

“The formative years for our young people are so critically important to their lives … so thank you to all the partners in this important project.”