$600K to kinder
State Government surprises kinder with immediate funding
MANSFIELD Kindergarten got the surprise of a lifetime last week when a supposed casual visit from Labor candidate for Eildon, Sally Brennan, turned into a surprise cheque from Upper House member Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) for $600,000.
As kinder staff, committee members and local councillors gathered to hear about some hopeful future plans, Ms Brennan announced with a smile that she was there under false pretences, before Ms Symes emerged from the front gate with a handful of silver balloons that spelled out 600K.
Teacher Nicola Beautyman had been inside the kindergarten when she saw the balloons through the window and came out with an elated surprise, looking for an explanation.
The $600,000 goes towards the redevelopment of the historic Mechanics Institute Building for the kinder.
Ms Symes and Ms Brennan said they secured the funding from Minister for Early Childhood Education, Jenny Mikakos, through the State Government’s Community Support Fund.
They both maintained that the money is not a future election promise, but already cash in hand for the kinder.
The project will restore and extend the building – to be Kindergarten to accommodate administration space, children and family programs, and also general community use.
“Absolutely elated,” said Andrew Setchell after the announcement.
“But it’s the culmination of some very hard work from the committee and a project that is vitally needed.
“We’re very excited to be able to deliver on it and it’s going to bring a lot of positive but the whole community.”
Harry Westendorp, was also in attendance and applauded the investment. “It is very welcome and a great boost for the community,” he said.
“Credit to the State Government for putting it in place.
“These are funds available that the local council would never have a position to match, so it’s very exciting.”
Ms Symes and Ms Brennan Kindergarten just the week before with an announcement of almost $50,000.
“Having already recently visited the centre with Sally Brennan for minor infrastructure improvements, this is a major win for the Mansfield community,” Ms Symes said.
Ms Brennan said Mansfield would welcome the State Government’s significant investment.
“This renovation and extension of the Mechanics Institute will ensure this important historical building will continue to benefit community for many years to come,” she said.
“We know that providing the very best in early childhood services gives children the best start in life and this redevelopment and expansion of the Mansfield kindergarten will deliver just that.”