New Kindergarten spots for St Albans

Sunshine North’s Jigsaw Childcare Centre unveiled its new look last week, with more than double the number of places now available for four year olds in its program.

The upgrade – which developed another purpose-built room alongside the existing one – came about due to a $300,000 contribution from the state government, with $44,405 put in by Jigsaw.

The extra 36 places in the four-year-old kinder program have been a long time coming, centre director Jayne Sladden said.

“We first applied for this in 2012, so there’s been a high demand in Brimbank for extra places,” Mrs Sladden said.

“We can now offer 66 funded places per day, instead of just 30.

“Because we offer long day care, it makes it easier for families who work and find sessional care difficult.

“We knew there were children missing out on childcare, so being able to offer these places makes it easier for working families.”

The centre will also now employ an extra bachelor trained teacher to meet the increased demand.

“We now have three bachelor trained teachers here, so that’s great – not just for the children, but also for the parents,” Mrs Sladden said. “Having that extra experience on staff, (people) who can offer mentorship and some new ideas for the children, is fantastic.”

St Albans MP Natalie Suleyman was on hand last week to open the upgraded centre and spruik the benefits for local families.

“These upgrades enhance early childhood education and care services, through great partnerships with local government, the community sector and parents,” Ms Suleyman said.