We prioritise the needs of children (aged 0 to 12 years) and their families to ensure the appropriate services, infrastructure and enabling environments are present to create a thriving early year’s community, now and into the future.
We partner with service providers to understand future service demand, to identify Early Years development trends and issues to ensure service access for residents and to plan for infrastructure needs for services. Our Early Years role is outlined in our Early Years Strategy 2020-2025. All early years services across the Shire are operated by non-Council entities; either not for profit committees of management or commercial businesses.
Following the development of the Indigo Shire Kindergarten Infrastructure and Services Plan (KISP), we are assisting with master planning support for the services that are providing 3-year-old kinder that require support to accommodate growth. Via the master planning process, we will understand the construction needs of each site across the Shire in a more considered way.
- To view or download the KISP click here.
Beechworth Childcare and Kindergarten facilities
A key priority in our Early Years Strategy is to advocate for suitable facilities and infrastructure for the Beechworth Childcare and Kindergarten facilities. An assessment of future demand for these services found an immediate unmet childcare demand for babies and toddlers in Beechworth. We're actively assisting the committees to identify a suitable location for the future of these services, and additional funding will need to be identified to support this move.
In October 2021 we appointed Perkins Architects to deliver the following:
- Engage with the community and key stakeholders to identify a new Early Years Hub site in Beechworth and develop concept designs for this site.
- Develop master plans for the existing Kindergarten and Maternal and Child Health Site at Yackandandah.
- Develop master plans for the existing Kindergarten and Maternal and Child Health Site at Tangambalanga
In July 2022, Perkins Architects provided Council with an assessment and masterplan document for Yackandandah and Tangambalanga.
In August 2022, Perkins Architects presented to the Beechworth Childcare and Beechworth Kindergarten committees:
- A project summary and future demand information
- An overview of the Site Identification Process of the different sites that had been analysed through a 5-point scaling system.
- An overview of three potential options and the costs of each option
Following analysis through the Indigo Shire Executive Management Team and Councillor briefing the following Beechworth Early Years Hub Feasibility Report is available for you to view:
The next phase of the project will be to further refine options and engage with the Beechworth Early Years' service providers and broader community on the project.
Applications for the Beechworth Early Years Hub Working Group have now closed, thank you to everyone that expressed interest, members will be appointed and contacted soon.
In early 2023, we sought expressions of interest from a diverse cross section of the community to participate in the Beechworth Early Years Hub Working Group.
We sought input from candidates with experience in the early years sector as well as community members with an interest in supporting the development of early years activities.
The purpose of the working group will be:
- To review the Beechworth Feasibility report
- Consider potential locations for a Beechworth Early Years Hub
- Report back to Council.
Members of the working group are required to commit to 4 to 6 meetings before December 2023. Meeting dates, times, and location to be determined in consultation with the working group.