Paving the way for play

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas, Cr Janet Pearce, Cr Christine Walker, and Manna Gum Kindergarten staff and children (supplied).

Gisborne kindergarteners at Manna Gum Family and Children’s Centre are enjoying their new outdoor play space, following its completion this month.

The works to extend the existing play spaces were funded with a $360,000 grant from the Victorian School Building Authority, and features nature-based play elements, a wedge-tailed eagle sculpture, stage and yarning circle, alongside traditional play equipment.

Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas officially opened the new playground on May 3, and said funding helps local councils and early childhood services to improve kindergartens and set them up for the future.

“We’re pleased to deliver unprecedented investment in early childhood services so our local kids can get the most out of our great kindergartens,” Ms Thomas said.

Macedon Ranges council community dire tor Maria Weiss said a key priority area for council is that children’s needs are recognised in infrastructure and the built environment.

“A key theme of this is to actively seek and respond to opportunities for children to play, explore, solve problems, communicate, think, create and construct,” she said.

“This fantastic new outdoor space definitely ticks those boxes and will ensure a nature-based learning environment where children can play, learn, grow and thrive for many years to come.”

Registrations for next year are currently open across council’s eight kindergartens. Families are

encouraged to register before May 31.

“Demand for our kindergartens can be high, so we encourage families to register by this date to have the best chance of being offered a place,” Ms Weiss said.

Those who register by May 31, will go into a draw to win a six-month family swim pass or 12 months of swimming lessons at Gisborne or Kyneton aquatic centres.