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Award for early years facility

New mum Brooke Grey and baby Zoey with Mayor Edwards at the new Maternal Health area inside the hub. Photo - Helen Tatchell
New mum Brooke Grey and baby Zoey with Mayor Edwards at the new Maternal Health area inside the hub. Photo - Helen Tatchell

By Jessica Howard

It’s been just three months since the Darley Early Years Hub opened its doors, but the local community centre has already taken out an impressive award.

Moorabool Shire Council was the winner of the 2017 Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia award in the category of Capital Projects above $2-million.

The award was received for the new Early Years Hub and multipurpose pavilion, which commenced action in January this year.

Moorabool Shire Mayor, Cr David Edwards said the award was a fantastic outcome for the whole community.

“We’re delighted to be recognised for designing a hub and multipurpose pavilion that meets the current and future needs of our community,” he said.

The Darley Early Years Hub has a kindergarten and parent’s programs, playgroups and occasional care.

It also houses Early Years Council staff and offices, including maternal and child health nurses, Best Start facilitation and health promotion and family support offices.

Moorabool Shire Council Early Years manager, Sharon McArthur said the hub was a “one stop shop for local families”.

“Everything is now integrated, which allows parents to come in and be directed to the appropriate area they are looking for.

“The Hub covers all areas of staff and while we aren’t necessarily all experts in every department, we know how and where to find the experts”.

Cr Edwards said the design of the Early Years Hub had a strong focus on local natural play spaces.

“This includes market gardens, waterways, edible gardens, rocks and sand – all of which make for a great learning play space for children”.

The multipurpose pavilion includes the redevelopment of new change rooms, a kitchen and a community space, which is designed to meet the growing demand for participation in sports such as football, cricket and soccer.

“Staff and families have been using this space for about three months now and the feedback has been very positive,” Cr Edwards said.

“We’re very pleased that the facilities have been recognised by IPWEA, and are now an award-winning space, and we look forward to being able to enjoy these spaces with our community for many years to come”.