By ELLE WATSON
Mudgee’s newest childcare centre has been given the tick of approval from the first preschoolers to start there yesterday.
Deputy Premier Troy Grant and Minister for Early Childhood Education Leslie Williams officially opened the long-awaited centre on Friday.
The facility that will be operated by Gowrie NSW as Lady Gowrie Mudgee, was funded by a $1 million grant from the NSW Government’s Cobbora Transition Fund.
Mid-Western Regional mayor Des Kennedy said the shortage of preschool places and availability of childcare has been a long standing issue for the region.
“In 2012/13 we had 180 on the waiting list for the four and five-year-old bracket for preschools,” councillor Kennedy said.
“It was affecting the community to the extent that it stopped a lot of families moving here and taking positions that they were offered because they couldn’t get any places for their children in preschool.
“Council has worked very hard to secure funding to build this facility and I’m extremely proud to see it officially opened.”
Dubbo MP Troy Grant said council’s funding application for the centre was one of the stand-out projects.
“I have spoken to people who struggled making the decision to move to Mudgee due to a lack of child care and preschool places, now that this fantastic new centre is open that decision for people will be a whole lot easier,” Mr Grant said.
“There is no greater investment the state government or any government can make than into our kids and particularly into their preschool education.
“This is a remarkable new facility and a wonderful investment.”
Lady Gowrie Mudgee will cater for 40 children aged three to five years old each day with up to 200 additional preschool places per week.
This article was originally published by the Mudgee Guardian.