Parents and children are set to reap the rewards of the upgraded Culcairn Early Childhood Centre, with the community gathering today to mark the occasion in the Riverina region.

Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said the $107,838 upgrade has increased the learning area spaces available so more to children can attend the centre.

“I aim to help build the kinds of communities our children and grandchildren want to either stay in or come back to, and providing access to quality childcare and education facilities like this are crucial when raising young families,” Minister Nash said.

“I am thrilled that Culcairn Early Childhood Centre has received the support it needs to grow and develop the next generation of young minds.”

Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley, who joined the community today to mark the occasion, said the project is another example of all levels of government working together to provide modern essential services in regional Australia.

“The new extension will allow the Culcairn Early Childhood Centre to expand its licence to accommodate more children, nearly doubling its existing allotment of 22 to 40 family day care places,” Ms Ley said.

“The Centre is now able to offer care for children living with disabilities, as well as outside school hours care, providing additional support for parents choosing to return to the workforce.”

New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional Development John Barilaro said the upgraded facilities will provide a new meeting room for educators and parents to consult confidentially.

“It is vital for families to have access to quality early childhood education centres, and it is the educators that we entrust our children to who make these centres so special,” Mr Barilaro said.

Mayor of Greater Hume Shire Council Heather Wilton said the provision of high quality children’s services will improve quality of life for residents and help grow vibrant rural communities in the shire.

“The project has doubled the size of the indoor learning area, established a new nappy change area and laundry along with increased storage and staff amenities,” Cr Wilton said.

“I congratulate the hard working committee of the Culcairn Early Childhood Centre on the completion of this outstanding project.”

This project was jointly funded by the Coalition Government ($40,000), the New South Wales State Government ($47,000), the Greater Hume Shire ($4,000) and Culcairn Early Childhood Centre ($16,838).