Construction begins on new $2 million childcare facility in Parkes

IT BEGINS: It was an exciting day on Monday, marking the beginning of construction of the new Parkes Central West Childcare Centre in Coleman Street - Teena Mylecharane, Cr Pat Smith, Ann-Marie Winter, Nationals MP Sam Farraway, Cr Ken Keith OAM and Cr Neil Westcott. Photo: Submitted
IT BEGINS: It was an exciting day on Monday, marking the beginning of construction of the new Parkes Central West Childcare Centre in Coleman Street - Teena Mylecharane, Cr Pat Smith, Ann-Marie Winter, Nationals MP Sam Farraway, Cr Ken Keith OAM and Cr Neil Westcott. Photo: Submitted

Construction has begun on the new $2 million childcare facility in Coleman Street in Parkes.

The first sod was officially turned on the site - located where the former unutilised community health building is within the old Parkes Hospital precinct - on Monday morning.

Nationals Upper House MP Sam Farraway joined Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM, Cr Neil Westcott, Cr Pat Smith, and Central West Family Day Care service coordinator Ann-Marie Winter and senior education coordinator Teena Mylecharane for the occasion.

The new and larger home for the Parkes Central West Childcare Services is expected to cater for a range of families and provide quality childcare services in a growing community.

"The NSW Government is pleased to support this much-needed childcare facility in Parkes," Mr Farraway said.

"Once complete, the centre will provide quality care for babies to school age students within family daycare, preschool as well as vital before and after school care and vacation care for families with older children.

"Locals will be familiar with the old community health building on Coleman Street, well I'm happy to say that it is going to be transformed into the Central West Childcare Services.

"The building will become an integrated care facility which will of course be a safe and fun place for children and staff alike."

The design of the new centre includes age appropriate playrooms, a childcare facility with change areas and staff room, a dedicated preschool area and learning areas where school-aged students can take part in education programs.

It ensures each child, no matter their age, can be in an environment designed for their needs.

The centre will also cater for complementary services such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, parenting classes and early childhood courses.

"All of which are vitally important to a child's development and to help parents and guardians navigate their way through the stages of early childhood," Mr Farraway said.

From Monday, the old health building will undergo an internal redevelopment to create the individual learning areas which include office space, storage, bathrooms, kitchen and laundry.

There will be an external development to provide outdoor learning spaces and a car park.

The project has been funded under the NSW Government's Restart NSW program, with $1.3 million coming from its Resources for Regions Fund and Parkes Shire Council contributing a further $668,000.

FIRST SOD TURN: Nationals MP Sam Farraway and Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM turn the first sod on the construction site in Coleman Street. Photo: Submitted

FIRST SOD TURN: Nationals MP Sam Farraway and Parkes Mayor Ken Keith OAM turn the first sod on the construction site in Coleman Street. Photo: Submitted

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM welcomed the start of the project.

"The demand for childcare services has already seen Central West Childcare Services outgrow its current facility with 51 educators and more than 400 children enrolled," he said.

"With major developments happening in Parkes currently - namely the construction of the Inland Rail, NSW's first Special Activation Precinct, the expansion of CMOC Northparkes Mine and the Clean TeQ Sunrise project - the delivery of a quality childcare facility will ensure Parkes can meet the needs of those new families and businesses relocating to the region over the next decade."

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro was pleased to see the money going towards "such a worthwhile project".

"The NSW Government recognises how important this fund is to provide a boost to regional industries and stimulate economic growth for the local economy," he said.

"This new childcare service in Parkes will not only provide jobs directly and indirectly, it's also vital to support families living and working in the Parkes community.

"Well done to Parkes Shire Council for progressing this project and we look forward to seeing this childcare facility full of children in the near future."