Support of the local community through the creation of a Children’s Hub offering a multitude of services and care for families.
Project implemented: 2015 - 2018
The project will provide childcare in a growing township – enabling caregivers to return to the workforce & encouraging new families to move in.
Absence of affordable childcare is a barrier to workforce participation. ABS research from Dec 2017 found half of the women surveyed suggested that access to childcare was “very important” as an incentive to join the workforce.
A feasibility study was undertaken to understand the need for children and family services and childcare.
Funding of a community champion to further develop the project and build support, which were vital in ensuring quick progress
The local community secured VIC Government funding & financial & in-kind support from the local parish to construct the Hub
In addition to advocating for the project, community members and local businesses are supporting construction of the Hub.
Development of the Hub – driven by the community – has leveraged significant support from local business, community groups and existing initiatives. This resulted in reduced construction costs due to community partnerships and discounted services, use of local suppliers, tradespeople and contractors (which also circulated money back into the community) and businesses and individuals volunteering time to assist hub construction.
In 2015, Mandalay joined a community working group to progress development of Heathcote’s first child care centre. Out of this, Mandalay funded a detailed feasibility study which identified the need for further consultation and the importance of a services hub.
Further community consultation confirmed childcare services were both wanted & needed & would provide enduring social & community value. Mandalay funded a consultant to undertake further research.
The consultant worked with the community to secure project funding from the Victorian Government and local parish for a hub delivering integrated services, including childcare, early learning services and other family support.