Gloucester Pre-school successful in NSW Government grant bid

Gloucester Pre-school students, Elizabeth Price and Vanessa Parker are excited about their new ramp. Photo Anne Keen
Gloucester Pre-school students, Elizabeth Price and Vanessa Parker are excited about their new ramp. Photo Anne Keen

Building new infrastructure in town sure gets a lot easier when the State Government agrees to kick in a bit of dough.

Gloucester Preschool was lucky enough to be on the list of successful grant recipients under the NSW Government's Quality Learning Environments program.

The school received more than $9000 toward the construction of a ramp enabling inclusive access to all areas of the property.

Overall the ramp, which provides access from the top level of the property to the lower level playground, cost $35,000 and includes glass panels to ensure the students will still be able to see the Bucketts mountain range from their classroom window.

The ramp is part of a larger on-going project that will see the school expand from a pre-school to a long-day centre, adding more rooms for naught to three year olds. For this not-for-profit, community run facility, it's grants like this that have made the project possible.

Preschool committee president, Vanessa Parker, said the project is all about improving the preschool and improving the community.

"There is such a need for more childcare and this is really going to open that up," Vanessa said.

Member for Upper Hunter, Michael Johnsen said he was thrilled that the littlest learners in the Upper Hunter electorate will benefit from this funding now and for years to come.

A sentiment echoed by Gloucester Preschool director, Elizabeth Price, who wrote the grant application.

"Investing in community-based infrastructure benefits the whole community into the future," Elizabeth said. "Ongoing State support means early childhood education in rural areas can continue to provide equal opportunity for everyone."

The ramp will be unveiled, along with the new early learning centre at a grand opening on Wednesday, November 27, with students to take over the rooms in January 2020.

The following preschools and not-for-profit long day care centres in the Upper Hunter electorate received grants of up to $10,000 under the program: Singleton Heights Pre School, Aberdeen Pre School, Children's Services Community Management Clarence Town Pre School, Dungog Community Pre School Kindergarten, Willow Tree Pre School, Upper Hunter Shire Council - Upper Hunter Early Learning Centre, Quirindi Per School Kindergarten, Scone & District Pre School, Liverpool Plains Shire Council - Quirindi Eastside Child Care Centre and Muswellbrook Pre School Kindergarten.