Education Minister Liz Constable today announced details of a new Child and Parent Centre at a public school in Bunbury.
Carey Park Primary School will benefit from a new purpose-built early childhood facility worth $1million.
The State Government will spend a total of $10.9million at schools around the State on new buildings, refurbishments and transportable facilities to provide integrated services for children and parents including parenting workshops, playgroups and child health.
“This centre will provide support and services to some of the most vulnerable children and their families in the Bunbury area,” Dr Constable said.
“The centre will ensure that children are well-prepared to start school.
“This is part of a $28.8million investment over the next four years to establish 10 Child and Parent Centres in Western Australia.
“With public schools in almost every community in WA, it makes sense to establish these centres at school sites where they can be easily accessed by families.”
Services will begin as soon as a co-ordinator is appointed at the school later this year, while the new Child and Parent Centre facilities are expected to officially open in January 2014.
Carey Park Primary School principal Peter Rigden said the centre would make a massive difference to young children’s preparedness for school.
“About half of our kindergarten students have some sort of speech difficulty and in some cases they come to us with a disability that has never been diagnosed,” Mr Rigden said.
“All of this puts them well behind the eight-ball when they start school and, although we do everything we can, they often struggle throughout their schooling.
“We are running a Smart Start program for three-year-olds which involves two half-day sessions with a trained teacher and a ‘play cafe’. We are already beginning to notice an improvement in children’s language and social skills.
“This centre gives us a wonderful opportunity to develop services like parent education, regular health checks and speech therapy to ensure our children no longer start school so far behind.”
The departments of Education and Health and the Department for Communities will work together to deliver services at each Child and Parent Centre
Centre co-ordinators will begin working with their communities & agencies later this year
Minister's office - 6552 5700