Diamond Hills Preschool in Greensborough is set to undergo a $3.69 million redevelopment, boosting the number of funded preschool places for local children.
Eltham MP Vicki Ward today announced the Victorian Government would provide $2.9 million through the Growing Suburbs Fund for the project, which will see the
35-year-old preschool completely rebuilt.
Nillumbik Shire Council will carry out the redevelopment as well as contribute $700,000, while the preschool, which is overseen by a committee of community volunteers, will also contribute $75,000.
The new building will provide a much-needed second classroom for the preschool as well as a multipurpose room, kitchen and store rooms, toilets including an all-abilities toilet, staff lounge and resource room, landscaping and 26 car parking spaces.
Mayor Frances Eyre said quality early years education set children up for life and the new preschool would ensure access to funded programs for more local families.
“Many families would have fond memories of Diamond Hills Preschool. However, with only one classroom, there is not enough space to cater for modern preschool programs including the introduction of 15 hours of funded three-year-old kinder without affecting total enrolments,” Cr Eyre said.
“This new building will allow for both three and four-year-old kinder programs, boosting enrolments from 80 to 120, as well as a range of services and programs for the broader community.
“I would like to thank Vicki Ward for her advocacy on the community and Council’s behalf, and the Victorian Government for its significant financial support of a project which will benefit our community for generations to come.
“I would also like to acknowledge the preschool volunteer committee members, staff and parents for the excellent service they provide our children and in getting the plans to where we see them today.”
Diamond Hills Preschool President Julia Drew welcomed the funding announcement, describing it as phenomenal news for the kindergarten.
“The preschool first opened in 1986 with a second-hand building that was already about 10 years old. The new building will see the preschool through for another 50 years, and provide us with facilities that will complement our exceptional education programs for preschool children.”
With funding now secured, detailed designs for the building will be developed before construction is expected to start in 2023. The preschool will continue to operate from its current building while the new one is constructed on the existing car park.