Wednesday, April 29, 2009

all systems go for children's hub

report from the roundtable - 28th April
At this meeting of council the development of the Children's Hub in Upwey was considered. Approval of the hub would see the development proceed to planning application stage and inform the conditions around it's development, firstly that the proposed service be based on the business plan developed for the service and secondly that the design support the operational model for a 110 place long day care facility.

There has been extensive consultation around the development of the hub, for a bit of history visit
blog September 08, blog November 08 and blog March 09.

Me standing outside the soon to be redeveloped Sherbrooke Children's Centre. It is a great turnaround for the centre who, five years ago, were facing closure in 2009. The community should be very pleased with their efforts to save Sherbrooke Children's Centre, all those weekly campaign strategy meetings were well worth it.

To pull together such a diverse range of users of the site and move forward in a positive and inclusive way has been a great example of community consultation. There have been many meetings to talk about the proposal with contributions by the broader community, Long Day Care users, Upwey Hall users, Maternal and Child Health Services, allied children's services, Pre School and Toy Library. It has been a terrific experience to be part of the Project Control Group and the Community Reference Group as a councillor representative.

The staff of the shire have done a fantastic job of capturing the views and aspirations of the community and I thought it was important to put that on public record.

Both the State and Federal Governments have supported the development of the Children's Hub with a combined contribution of $2.1 million towards the project. The hub will be a great example of integrated children’s services which has been shown to deliver very positive outcomes for the early years and for families.

If we get it right in the early years we get it right for life. Investing in the early years is a great long term investment in our community. Studies have shown that investment in the early years pays back seven fold down the line. We have a development that we can be very proud of.

I'm pleased to say that the vote to support the proposed Children's Hub was unanimous.

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