Children at Woodend Kindergarten will soon enjoy a brand-new $503,000 nature-based inclusive outdoor learning space, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas today visited the kindergarten to mark the beginning of construction on behalf of Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes.

The project will include a nature-based play space and sensory garden, which will also be used by the wider community, along with family meeting spaces.

The project received a $198,000 investment from the Labor Government’s Pick My Project initiative, and $152,000 from the Labor Government’s the Children’s Facilities Capital Program.

The kindergarten, in partnership with Macedon Ranges Shire Council and consultation from the local community, first prepared an extensive Landscape Masterplan for Woodend Kindergarten’s outdoor learning area in 2017.

The Masterplan identified projects to create more functional spaces while providing opportunities for inclusive nature play, reflecting the aspirations of the Woodend community.

Funding from Macedon Ranges Shire Council will upgrade the kindergarten’s underground drainage to help prevent flooding.

Woodend Kindergarten are also set to receive $6,183 as part of the Inclusive Kindergarten Funding Program to purchase a range of sensory equipment, ensuring that every child attending the kinder can participate in a range of activities.

Pick My Project is a Victorian Government first – a $30 million participatory budgeting initiative that puts decision making in the hands of Victorians. This is one of 16 successful projects from the Pick My Project initiative in the Loddon Campaspe region.

The state’s biggest early childhood education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kinders to come. The Labor Government will invest more than $1.6 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services.

The is part of a $5 billion plan to ensure every Victorian child has access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade.

Quote attributable to Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas “This new outdoor space was a high priority for our community, and that’s why I’m so delighted that it secured funding through Pick My Project.”

“Our kinder kids will now have a brilliant space to play and learn.”