Media Releases 2010

New child care centre responds to baby boom

17 February 2010

Up to 85 new child care places will be created in Yarra under a Council plan to build a community hub in Abbotsford.

Council decided at its meeting last night to appoint KU Children’s Services – Australia’s largest not-for-profit child care provider – to operate a proposed child care centre on the former Lourdes site in St Heliers Street.

The ground floor of the new building would provide up to 120 places, including long day care, kindergarten and occasional care places, and maternal and child health services.

Upon the completion of the project, Council is proposing to close the 35-place Keele Street child care centre in Collingwood, with the sale proceeds to go towards the new building.

Mayor Cr Jane Garrett said the net gain of up to 85 places would help meet increasing demand caused by a local baby boom.

“We’ve got to plan for the future so that local children and families don’t fall through the cracks,” Cr Garrett said.

“Yarra’s Council-managed child care centres are already operating at capacity,” she said.

“According to population forecasts, there will be 420 more children under six years old living in Yarra in 2016 compared to 2006.

“Local families have told us access to child care is a major priority for them, so Council is doing what we can to lighten the load of existing and future parents.

“We are delivering on a promise in our four-year Council Plan, which commits us to create community hubs including children’s services and facilities for parents and children.”

Council has provided $3 million in its forward capital works budgets for the project, with construction proposed to begin in the 2011/2012 financial year.

The centre is also expected to include supported group accommodation for young people with moderate care needs and affordable housing units.

Residents, businesses and service providers in the area are invited to an information session about the project, which will be held at the Abbotsford Convent, on Tuesday 9 March, from 6.00pm.

“We want to hear from people who live or work in the area about the things we need to consider, whether it’s the need for a strategic traffic management plan, the centre’s design or anything else which may impact on them,” Cr Garrett said.

She said a further consultative meeting with the local community would be held at the Abbotsford Convent on Tuesday 23 March, where there would be an opportunity to comment on a design concept for the hub.

Council is expected to lodge a planning permit for the project in May or June 2010.

For more information about the consultative meetings, local community members can contact Julie Salomon, Manager – Family and Children’s Services, on 9205 5440 or at


For media enquiries about this issue, please contact:

Ainslie Gowan
Coordinator Communications and Public Relations
Richmond Town Hall
333 Bridge Road Richmond
Telephone 9205 5177, 0400 933 700


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