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Early Years

Knox Early Years Hubs

Latest news

Internal fit-out underway at Knox Children and Family Centre (Wantirna South)

Ceilings, internal walls, doors and windows are all being installed at the new Knox Children and Family Centre Wantirna South.

Check out the latest photos and read more about our progress

A building starts to take shape in Bayswater

Work progressed very quickly during June at the site of the new Knox Children and Family Centre (Bayswater).

The framing is now complete and builders have started adding the roof and external cladding.

View the photos

Expression of interest for child care in 2019

The new Knox Children and Family Centre (Wantirna South) and Knox Children and Family Centre (Bayswater) are due to open early 2019 and we have commenced our child care enrolment process with a call for expressions of interest. Official enrolments will take place from August later this year.

The timeline for the process is as follows:

21 May – expression of interest open for current families
25 June – expression of interest open for current waitlisted families
13 July – expression of interest open for new families
August/September – enrolments open

Families will be able to express interest in attending either of the two centres located at 81 Argyle St Wantirna South or 41 Phyllis St Bayswater and for either long day (both centres) or occasional care (Wantirna South only), as well as specify their days of interest.

Current child care and waitlisted families have been contacted to 'express interest' in enrolling for 2019 and new families can register via our child care waiting list. More information about the child care waiting list

Further information about this process will be posted here when available.

More news

Knox Children and Family Centre (Wantirna South) and Knox Children and Family Centre (Bayswater)

Council-run child care facilities are undergoing substantial improvement to co-locate and integrate a range of early learning and family support services to better support children and their families.

From 2019, Council's five long day care and occasional care services are being consolidated into two new early years hubs. Each centre will include:

  • Maternal and child health
  • Four-year-old sessional preschool
  • Playgroups
  • Long day care

The centre in Wantirna South will also house Council’s occasional care service.

This means that in 2019 the following services will be relocated to the new centres:

  • Long day care currently at Birchfield Crescent Children and Family Centre
  • Long day care currently at Rowville Children and Family Centre
  • Long day care currently at Coorie Avenue Children and Family Centre
  • Long day care currently at Talaskia Children and Family Centre
  • Occasional care currently at Tyner Road Children and Family Centre
  • Long day care currently at Park Crescent Children and Family Centre

Playgroups and Maternal and Child Health Service will remain at Park Crescent Children and Family Centre.

These specially designed centres will be located at 81 Argyle Way in Wantirna South (formerly the Knox Gardens Preschool site) and 41 Phyllis St in Bayswater (formerly the Blue Hills Children and Family Centre site).

Map of the Bayswater and Wantirna South Early Years Hubs
Click to zoom this image

The centres will modernise the facilities and provide improved services to young children and their families in Knox.

“We’re reshaping some of our services and developing dedicated, modern multi-use early years facilities so council can provide improved, one-stop locations to match changing community needs and help with affordability for families,” Cr Holland said.

Everything under one roof

Outdoor play spaces that will be shared by infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

Shared play spaces help all children and staff to get to know each other and help to build a sense of community. We know that multi-age groups can promote:

  • The development of leadership skills in older children
  • Enhanced social participation for younger children
  • Self-regulation
  • Complex play situations for younger children that are created by older children
  • Skills in conflict resolution
  • Cognitive development through “novices and experts” in the same play situation
  • Enhanced communication skills

Careful consideration is being given to the landscape design of these outdoor play spaces to make sure that they meet the needs of all children, including providing safety for younger children as well as challenging older children.

Watch the Knox early years hub video on YouTube

Benefits to families

The new centres will bring together different kinds of services for children and their families in one space to offer options for parents that are high quality, flexible and coordinated.

A big benefit to families is improved communication about their child. With many services under the one roof and with parents’ permission, families will not have repeat discussions with staff about their child’s development.

Other benefits are:

  • Better access to occasional care
  • Great environment to give children the best care and early learning
  • A choice of early education and care services to suit needs of the family
  • Increased awareness of the different types of Council services available
  • Opportunities to feel part of a special community
  • Flexibly designed building to cater for Knox’s changing demographics over the next 100 years

Benefits to children

  • Improved quality of services, leading to improved learning
  • Continued support of established individualised learning programs when children transition between groups as all staff and children know each other
  • A setting that invites children and their families to actively engage in positive early years development
  • A new sustainable building ... good for our environment, good for our children
  • Children will learn, discover, explore and play in spaces that specifically cater for their growing needs

Clever design

Designing facilities that will provide quality programs and services for our ever changing community needs are very important to Knox City Council.

The new design will incorporate an open flexible layout that could successfully allow multi-uses and accommodate diverse functions and changing community needs. It will also incorporate environmentally and economically sustainable design principle to significantly lower overall lifecycle and operating costs for the facility particularly in terms of water and energy use.

The design will also embrace the principles of Universal Access to enable members of the community and users of the facility to have unrestricted access.

The centres will be light, open spaces with connecting indoor and outdoor learning environment and are intended to have:

  • 48 x 300 watt panels with 12,000 amp/hr storage capacity which is anticipated to result in our external power consumption to nil
  • No running costs (using passive heat exchange technologies)
  • Operational costs (excluding staff costs etc) will be reduced by around 85%. This includes an estimated 95% reduction in energy costs, an 80% reduction in lifecycle maintenance and a 80% reduction in water costs.
  • Water tanks with capacity of 200,000 litres will provide 80% of our water requirements
  • Building life will be100 years
  • 7+ star energy rating

Why has Council made this decision?

There have been significant changes to child care over many years, and it is difficult for Council to provide an affordable service, whilst meeting all requirements, including its obligations under the National Competition Policy.

Families have told us they value having the choice of Council-operated long day care services, and that our occasional care service meets the needs of many families because it is the only occasional care service of its type in the Knox municipality.

Co-located and integrated early years services can help achieve better outcomes for children and families, and Council wants to invest wisely in facilities that better support the community now, and into the future.

What next...

We acknowledge that there are many decisions to be made by families relating to work, school, preschool, just to name a few. We will inform families on opening dates and other essential information, as soon possible.

What is yet to be finalised

  • The date that the new centres will be ready to open
  • The fees
  • What will happen to the other facilities where Council currently provides childcare

Please take the opportunity to register your email address so we can keep you updated with the progress of this project.

Sign up for email updates on the new Knox Children and Family Centres.
If you have specific questions, please contact us on early.years@knox.vic.gov.au

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