Funding announced for new child and family centre in Pakenham
A new integrated child and family centre will be built in the north-west of Pakenham to meet the needs of families in Cardinia Shire’s growth corridor.
The centre – which has an interim name of Thewlis Road Integrated Child and Family Centre – will be built on land situated at the intersection of Roderick Drive and Kenneth Road, and will be co-located with the future Pakenham North West Primary School.
The Victorian Government is committing $9 million to the centre via its Building Blocks Capacity Grant, with Council contributing additional funding to build the facility using developer contributions.
The funding was announced on Wednesday (26 July) by the Minister for Early Childhood and Pre-Prep Ingrid Stitt at the official opening of the new Kurmboon Child and Family Centre in Officer.
Thewlis Road Integrated Child and Family Centre will include 3 kindergarten program rooms, a community room that can be licensed as an additional kindergarten program room in response to demand, plus 3 consulting rooms for Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and other allied health professional services. The centre will also include an outdoor play space, and a staff room with kitchen and planning space.
Design of the centre has been finalised and a tender for the facility’s construction will go out shortly.
The centre is expected to be built by late-2024 so it is ready to operate from the start of 2025.
Cardinia Shire Mayor Councillor Tammy Radford said Council was fast tracking the centre’s delivery due to the significant growth in demand for kindergarten services in the area.
“A combination of rapid population growth, recent kindergarten reforms and funded kindergarten announcements means this facility is much needed by our residents.
“On behalf of the Cardinia Shire community I’d like to thank the Victorian Government for recognising this urgent need and dedicating significant funding toward this project,” Mayor Radford said.
“As the centre will be integrated with the future state government primary school, it will deliver all-in-one access to kindergarten services, MCH services, playgroups and parenting programs, whilst providing spaces for allied health professionals such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychology for children and families.
“Providing integrated services in the same facility will help get children in the area off to a great start by providing continuity of care from birth through to primary school,” Mayor Radford said.
“Thewlis Road Integrated Child and Family Centre will provide convenient, seamless access to support for families in this growing area, including our most disadvantaged and vulnerable families.”