Media release – The Hon Wendy Lovell MLC, Minister for Housing, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development. 

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell today joined Hobson’s Bay Councillors to announce the service provider for the $5.3 million Newport Gardens Early Learning Centre. 

Ms Lovell congratulated Early Childhood Management Services (ECMS) on its new role in delivering high-quality long day care and kindergarten services to Newport families. 

“ECMS is a leader in the early years sector in Victoria, educating and caring for more than 6,000 children at 61 services across the state,” Ms Lovell said. 

“A formal partnership between ECMS and the neighbouring Newport Gardens Primary will promote co-operation among staff, and ensure that preschool-aged children move smoothly into school.” Ms Lovell said the Victorian Government invested $1 million toward the development of the Centre to improve access to children’s service for the Newport community. 

“This project will increase the local long day care capacity by 36 places and kindergarten capacity by 66 places,” Ms Lovell said. 

“It also creates a one-stop-shop for maternal and child health, early childhood intervention, play group and the Hobson’s Bay toy library.” 

Ms Lovell acknowledged Hobson’s Bay City Council’s $4.3 million contribution towards this project, which is due to open from the start of 2014. 
“This brand new centre is another example of what can be achieved when the Victorian Government works hand-in-hand with the local community,” Ms Lovell said. 

Ms Lovell said record investments in early childhood infrastructure will enable many more communities to follow Newport Gardens’ lead in 2013. 

“The Victorian Government has invested $93 million in state and national partnership funding since December 2010 to build or upgrade early years services across the state,” Ms Lovell said. 

“As a result, more than 93 per cent of Victorian services are able to deliver 15 hours of kindergarten per week, and we are working with remaining services to help them reach that target as soon as possible.” 

Media contact: Alicia Byrne 0409 471 893,