Gloucester Pre-School receives grant from ETC

Gloucester Pre-School students are excited about the new classrooms being built before their eyes. Photo Anne Keen
Gloucester Pre-School students are excited about the new classrooms being built before their eyes. Photo Anne Keen

It's been two and a half years since Gloucester Pre-school first talked about its plans to expand and now, thanks to more funding support, construction is well underway.

In late 2016, the community-based preschool became one of the Gloucester businesses to benefit from AGL's Gloucester Independent Community Legacy Fund.

Around May 2017, Gloucester Pre-School officially announced its plans to construction two new classrooms with the potential to create up to 14 new full-time jobs.

The two new classrooms will house long day care for children aged from birth to three years, building onto the current preschool facility which covers students from age three until they progress to primary school.

Being a non-profit community based organisation, it was important to secure as much funding as possible in order to reduce the flown-on affect to parents, meaning trying to avoid the need to increase the per day cost per child.

A recent funding announcement from Enterprise and Training Company (ETC) has seen the project jump ahead with construction now taking place on the site.

ETC chief executive officer, Jenny Barnett said the successful recipients of the grant funding supported the ETC Community Support Fund vision to reduce disadvantage, generate opportunity, increase support services and/or build capacity in the communities; something preschool director, Elizabeth Price wholeheartedly believes in.

"For small communities to grow they need infrastructure," Elizabeth explained.

"To bring jobs or attract new businesses we need to be forward thinking and expand our capacity to support the families that come with it."

The plans to expand came about based on what the community was in need of.

"Since I started working here in 2012, parent shave constantly asked for longer hours and for a place for younger siblings to come," Elizabeth explained.

The building will bring the school's capacity up to 85 students and provide scope for up to 14 new full-time staff, with almost three of those positions already filled as the school slowly increases its current capacity in incremental stages.

But the project isn't just about the preschool jobs but also about providing work for local businesses with many services being used from construction to fit out.

Major contributors to the preschools project include AGL Legacy Fund, Community Builders Partnership and ETC.

The preschool has also been up grading their current facilitates including a new kitchen that was partially funded by the NSW Department of Education.