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Early Years

Knox Early Years Hubs

Bayswater Early Years Hub Information Display

An Information Display was held on Saturday 17 June from 10am to 12pm at Blue Hills Children and Family Centre, 41-43 Phyllis Street Bayswater.

Local residents and community members were invited to view the building plans for the new early years hub in Bayswater and ask questions about this new facility.

Knox City Council Mayor, Cr Darren Pearce and local councillor Adam Gill both attended during the morning, as did a number of residents and community members. Thanks to all who attended and for the feedback received.


If you would like to receive regular updates about the Early Years Hubs project, please register your details.

Breaking Ground in Wantirna South!

The official breaking ground at the Wantirna South Early Years Hub took place on 29 May 2017, but the story behind it started a few weeks earlier.

Read the full story and see the photos

Wantirna South Update - 18/05/2017

The School Crossing has been temporarily relocated further from the works zone and new proposed changes to parking limits will apply in ensuring public safety in the vicinity of early years hub construction works on Argyle Way, Wantirna South.

View the proposed parking and crossing changes in Argyle Way (PDF)

May 2017 Update - 09/05/2017

Wantirna South


On Monday 8 May 2017, Council endorsed the appointment of Circon Constructions Pty Ltd for the construction of the new early years hub in Argyle Way, Wantirna South.

The delay in the original schedule to commence construction works in January 2017 for the Wantirna South Early Years Hub, has subsequently impacted the proposed timelines to open and operations of the centre. Based on the delay, the commencement for operations of the Wantirna South Early Years Hub is proposed in early 2019.

Bayswater


Works on the hub in Bayswater are progressing within the schedule, with concept plans currently being finalised. Council Officers expect to commence the tender for detailed design in June 2017 and tender for construction in November 2017.

Until then, it is business as usual with all of our services. Our team is committed to working together with you to deliver a high quality, responsive service with your children at the centre of our focus and effort. We are also committed to working with you when it is time to transition to our exciting new locations. We will keep you up to date with regular bulletins and we will be inviting you to contribute to the transition planning and to tell us how we can support you and your child/ren to settle in to the new service facilities.

Please email early.years@knox.vic.gov.au or contact Neda Moghaddas on 9298 8000, for any questions that you may have on this project.

Knox Early Years Hubs

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, Councils five long day care and occasional care services are being consolidated into two new early years hubs. Each hub will include:

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

The hub 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 early years hubs:

  • 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 hubs will be located in Wantirna South (currently the Knox Gardens Preschool site) and Bayswater (currently the Blue Hills Children and Family Centre site).

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

The hubs 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 early years hubs 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 hubs 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 hubs 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 hubs 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.

If you have specific questions, please contact us on early.years@knox.vic.gov.au

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