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Cessnock to welcome new $3 million pre-school

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The Cessnock LGA will be home to a new pre-school, thanks to a significant funding injection from the NSW Government.

Cessnock Multipurpose Children’s Centre Ltd (CMCC) was awarded $3,143,747 to build a facility on land it currently owns at the corner of Wollombi Road and Lochinvar Street in Bellbird Heights.

Once construction is completed, it will deliver 44 licensed places for pre-school-aged children, servicing the rapidly-growing needs of the region.

The CMCC, a community based not-for-profit organisation, has been operating for six decades in the Cessnock electorate.

It’s also the LGA’s only provider of long day care, pre-school, occasional care, OOSH and vacation care.

Cessnock Multipurpose Children’s Centre chair Barbara Rodham welcomed the news.

“I am thrilled to receive this grant from the NSW Department of Education,” she said.

“We’ve been providing quality education and care to the families of Cessnock for more than 60 years.

“So, to be given the funds to build a purpose-built pre-school on our land at Bellbird Heights is very exciting.

“Pre-school education is a very important step along a child’s educational journey.

“The Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program, which provides 600 hours of avoidable pre-school for three and four-year-olds in NSW, is a wonderful initiative by the government.

“We bought the land at Bellbird Heights knowing that it was a growth area for young families.

“Now, we’re hoping to be open at the start of the 2025 school year.”

The electorate is classified as a low socio-economic region.

According to the 2021 Census, Cessnock rated 89 out of 93 state electorates for “People with highest level of school completed Year 12”, which resulted in it being given the minimal score.

It’s why the latest funding, from the Start Strong Capital Works Grants Program, brought a smile to Cessnock MP Clayton Barr’s face.

The initiative aims to support the creation of additional pre-school places in areas of need and demand.

Under the Major Works Capital Fund, eligible applicants can apply for assistance to create new builds, extensions and renovations of centre-based pre-school and not-for-profit long day care services running a pre-school program.

“With the growing population in the Cessnock LGA, the news of funding for a new pre-school to service the area is fantastic,” Mr Barr said.

“For our children to thrive, we need to invest in education, starting at very early childhood 0-to-five years.

“That’s when most of the really important and fundamental brain development takes place.

“So, this grant provides for an additional 44 pre-school places, which our community is desperately in need of.

“The importance of early childhood education cannot be underestimated… it provides the foundation of education as they progress throughout their school careers.

“Investing in education is an investment in the future of our children.”

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