It’s a transformation that will make you wish you could be a child again!
“We absolutely love our new venue, it is just breathtaking what it has become,” said Central West Childcare Services Coordinator Ann-Marie Winter of the complete metamorphosis of the unused and vandalised old community health building located within the old Parkes Hospital precinct.
The building now serves at the new Central West Childcare Services base and houses an integrated early childhood education centre, services for school-aged children, and family services for children from birth to 12 years all conveniently located under the same roof.
The transformation was made possible with a $1.3 million investment by the NSW Government and was officially opened last Friday by Parliamentary Secretary to the Deputy Premier Sam Farraway MLC with Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith, councillors, staff and community members.
“It looks super impressive after seeing the old building when I was here for the sod turning in October last year,” said Sam.
“The NSW Government is pleased to support this much needed childcare facility in Parkes. 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.”
With 43 educators and over 400 children enrolled in Central West Family Day Care, the service had outgrown its facility next to the Parkes pool. “It has been a lengthy process of almost ten years,” said Ann-Marie. “We know how important early childhood care is for our community and how high the demand is. This facility has come at the perfect time to function in cohesion with all the other providers in town.”
Mayor Ken Keith said with the major developments happening in Parkes the delivery of a quality educational facility, would ensure Parkes could meet the needs of those new families and businesses relocating to the region over the next decade.
The additional space this facility provides will enable complementary services to utilise the rooms for consultation purposes, such as occupational therapists, speech pathologists, dental checks, auditory services, as well as support meetings, parenting classes, child assessments, mothers’ groups meetings and play groups, conferences and the support of early childhood courses.
The Central West Childcare Services staff have over the years started buying and collecting very special toys, furniture and decorations that add to the spectacular atmosphere and impressive attention to detail from the moment you cross the threshold.
The outside play area, set against a steep slope, has been creatively redesigned into a childhood paradise of pathways, bridges, sand pits, play equipment and lots more detail to discover.
In a nod to the building’s heritage the original “helicopter arriving” sign has been given a special place next to the main climbing feature shaped like a helicopter.
Enrollments have opened for next year for the preschool, out of hours care, school holiday care and family day care. Call 6862 3111. To learn more about the services provided, visit www.parkes.nsw.gov.au.