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Willow Grove kindergarten jeopardised as no availability to accommodate the increase kinder to 30 hours a week

Doubling funded kinder hours to 30 weekly jeopardises Willow Grove kindergarten's future. The Nationals urge the Allan Labor Government to meet with a delegation to address the need for a new facility.

By news@gippsland - 7th March 2024 - Back to News

A doubling of funded kinder to 30 hours a week over the coming decade is placing the future of the Willow Grove kindergarten in jeopardy. Raising the issue in state parliament on behalf of the community, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath has called on the Allan Labor government to meet with a delegation from Willow Grove to explore its need for a new kindergarten facility.

Willow Grove kindergarten rents space in the multipurpose hall, unable to accommodate increased hours due to shared facility

Willow Grove kindergarten rents space in the multipurpose hall, unable to accommodate increased hours due to shared facility

Kindergarten space shortage

Ms Bath said, "Willow Grove kindergarten currently rents space in the town's multipurpose hall as it has done for 40 years, consistently attracting annual enrolments of around 20 students. Sharing a public facility, access is balanced between user groups and there's no availability to accommodate the directive to increase kindergarten to 30 hours a week."

"Understandably it is of great concern to locals that there is no current alternate location and planning must begin to build one. I was pleased that the Minister for Children, Lizzie Blandthorn was in the chamber and heard my request firsthand," she said.

Willow Grove kindergarten crisis

Member for Narracan, Wayne Farham said the Allan government must immediately address the issue, so the Willow Grove kindergarten is not forced to close. "A delegation is willing to come to Parliament House to hold preliminary discussions on the kindergarten's future - the Minister owes them an audience. It's all well and good to double kinder hours but the workforce and facilities must be established to accommodate the policy," said Mr Farnham.

Ms Bath said the absence of an early learning centre would have significant flow on effects to enrolments at the Willow Grove Primary School - both educational services are greatly valued, and locals deserve to have both retained.

"We are asking the Minister to meet with the Willow Grove delegation and explore the virtues of establishing a new kindergarten, so this long running early childhood education program continues to serve the community for another 40 years," Ms Bath said.

Pictures from Google Images.


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