Council values the importance of early years education and lifelong learning, and there is growing evidence that integrated service delivery helps to build stronger families and communities.
Council is responsible for planning and maintaining community infrastructure, to ensure that it meets the needs of the local community1. State Government is investing in kindergarten for all three-year-old children which is expected to be rolled out in Frankston in 2022. This reform will mean up to 15 hours of teacher-led learning for three-year-old children across the state. DET are currently undertaking state-wide capacity assessments to assist local government planning for the future.2
With this in mind, Council is proposing to construct an integrated library and family centre within the suburb of Langwarrin to provide a new, more functional, space for two local kindergartens to consolidate and re-locate to.
What is being proposed?
Council is investigating the viability and community need for an integrated library and family centre within the suburb of Langwarrin. The proposed facility would include the following elements:
- Maternal and Child Health
- Community library
- Community space
Where will the facility be if it proceeds?
This is still being determined and will be one of the key topics during the community consultation process, however at the Monday 22 July 2019 Ordinary Council Meeting, Council noted Lloyd Park North (Pindara Boulevard) as the favoured site for the project.
Why is it proposed for Langwarrin?
Council is responsible for ensuring that community infrastructure meets the needs of community. With growing demand for kindergartens in Langwarrin it has been identified that there is a need for new infrastructure and there is currently no capacity within our existing facility infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for community and facilitated playgroups.
In 2016 Council undertook an audit of community facilities with the purpose of reviewing the condition and functionality of Council’s community infrastructure.
From this assessment two Langwarrin kindergartens (Langwarrin and Wonnai) were deemed as not fit for purpose with poor functionality to support the changing early years environment.
It was also identified that the facilities within the existing Langwarrin Maternal and Child Health Centre are currently inadequate to meet the needs of the growing community.
The current outreach library at the Customer Service Centre n Langwarrin has outgrown its capacity due to the large amount of families in the area and the high utilisation. Approximately 40% of the Langwarrin population use and rely on Frankston City library services and most attend library outside of their community. Pre-school story times at the Langwarrin Customer Service Centre are also at capacity with an average of 38 people attending each session.
What will happen to the existing kindergartens in the area?
Should the project progress, both kindergartens will be consolidated and relocated to the new facility. Council will work closely with existing Kindergartens and committees of management throughout the process to ensure that there is limited disruption to children and families during the transition.
Further discussion around the future use of the current two kinder sites (land) would be required should the proposal progress further.
What will happen to other MCH services in the area if the development goes ahead?
The Long Street Maternal and Child Health Centre will re-locate should the development go ahead. There will be no reduction in delivery of MCH service in Langwarrin.
If the proposed development goes ahead, how long will it take to build?
The process from site selection, design to build is likely to take 3 - 4 years.
Subsequent Community and Stakeholder engagement and consultation will occur during the concept design phase if the proposal progresses.
What will happen to the existing Library at the Customer Relations Centre at The Gateway if the development goes ahead?
The existing library collection will relocate to the new facility should the development go ahead to become part of a larger collection to better suit the needs of the growing community demand.
How do I provide feedback on the proposed development?
At the Monday 22 July Ordinary Council Meeting, Council voted to authorise officers to commence formal community engagement on the proposed development.
Details on how the community can have their say are currently being finalised and will be communicated shortly, however it is expected that community will have 3 to 4 months to provide feedback.
Any questions, comments or requests to be contacted once the consultation and feedback period commences can be emailed to: CSProjects@frankston.vic.gov.au
The outcome of this community feedback is proposed to be presented in a report to Council in December 2019.
1Frankston City Council Plan 2017-2021 and Long Term Infrastructure Plan 2019-2029
2Department of Education and Training – Three-year-old kindergarten information