Page 3369 - Week 11 - Wednesday, 18 September 2013

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also increasing with at least eight and possibly nine mainstream classes expected for next year. This is an increase from the seven mainstream classes which have been operating at the school this year through Namadgi. I am also advised that the childcare centre is reporting a healthy demand, with 65 places being filled.

I am very encouraged at the engagement and support shown by the Tuggeranong community for that project to revitalise Taylor Primary School. The project provides a new model for delivering education services to children from birth to 12 years of age. I very much look forward to the school opening once again for the families of the Taylor community for the start of next year’s schooling.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how will the expansion of the childcare centre on the site enhance the school and benefit the local community?

MS BURCH: I thank Mr Gentleman again. I know that the member has a long interest in ensuring that our community has access to affordable and quality child care, in stark contrast to some others in this place. The inclusion of the education and care centre on this site will provide the community with a one-stop facility with a pathway from birth through to year 6.

It also forms part of the government’s longstanding policy of expanding the number of childcare places. Since 2001 the number of centre-based places across the ACT has more than doubled. We took to the last election our plan to continue this expansion, including expanding places in Tuggeranong. We are well on our way to meeting those commitments.

As part of the refurbishment and upgrade, this project has increased the capacity of the education and care centre at the school from 24 places to 65 places. The school and education care provider, Communities@Work, have established a partnership and are working closely to develop protocols and procedures for sharing across the facilities. The principal has already met with Communities@Work to begin the work on marketing this exciting new partnership to the community.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Ms Porter.

MS PORTER: Minister, what innovations have been trialled as part of this refurbishment?

MS BURCH: I thank Ms Porter again for her interest in Taylor Primary School. As I have said, it will be reopened for the start of the next school year. I am particularly pleased that the project includes a number of innovations in childcare service delivery and in modern education provision for the residents of Tuggeranong. I am proud to inform members that Taylor Primary School will provide services from birth to 12 years of age. In terms of innovation in childcare service delivery, the opportunity has been taken to integrate the childcare centre within the school, and particularly with the early childhood years.

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