About the project
We partnered with the Maribyrnong City Council to provide a kindergarten for three and four-year-olds, long day care, and maternal and child health services.
It will further support the growing demand for early years and education services in the area.
From the 2017–18 State Budget, the Government announced $10 million to build early childhood facilities at new government primary schools. This included Footscray Learning Precinct’s new Integrated Early Learning Centre.
Billy Button Children's Centre opened to families Term 2 2022 and was officially opened by the Minister for Early Childhood on 16 June 2022.
There was a delay in opening the new kindergarten, in part related to COVID-19 impacts. However, service provider Sparkways were still able to offer kindergarten for three and four-year-olds from the beginning of Term 1 2022.
Sessional kindergarten children commenced their kindergarten in rooms within Footscray City Primary School, next to the centre. While at the school, the kindergarten children had their own dedicated classrooms and play area and access to other schoolyard areas during school class time. This was planned in advance and done under strict supervision.
Sparkways will manage the new three and four-year-old kindergarten program and the centre's long day childcare. They have been appointed through an expression of interest process, taking into account community feedback.
Families who have secured a place in the kindergarten program will be contacted to find out their preferred sessions and complete the enrolment process.
Sparkways will host an online information session for families, where they will discuss the orientation process. They will contact enrolled families when further details are available.
Integrated early learning centres (IELCs) are key hubs for the community. They bring together a range of professional services to deliver education, care, health and support to children and their families. IELCs can provide a focal point for new communities in growth areas, and improve access, quality and integration of early childhood services in established metropolitan and regional areas.
Locating a kindergarten at, or next to, a primary school provides many benefits for Victorian families, including:
- easier access to early years programs
- simpler and more convenient drop-off times
- a smoother transition to school for some children.
Having an IELC adjacent to the school helps create a hub that benefits the whole community.
The centre will offer:
- kindergarten for three and four-year-olds
- long day childcare
- large outdoor play and education spaces
- qualified, experienced, supportive and friendly staff
- maternal child health services.
This IELC is part of the Footscray Learning Precinct, which champions excellence in learning and teaching in Melbourne's inner west at all stages of education. The precinct builds on the richness and diversity of the community and provides opportunities for learning in new ways.
From the 2017–18 State Budget, the Government announced $10 million to build early childhood facilities at new government primary schools. This included Footscray Learning Precinct’s new Integrated Early Learning Centre (IELC). The new centre will be built next to Footscray City Primary School, on the previous Hyde Street Kindergarten site, and is set to open from Term 1 2022.
The opening will coincide with the launch of a universally funded three-year-old kindergarten program in the Footscray area. The Victorian Government is investing almost $5 billion over 10 years to ensure three-year-old children have the facilities they need to attend kindergarten and meet the increasing place demand for four-year-olds.
What is the Footscray Learning Precinct?
The Victorian Government is transforming local education through the Footscray Learning Precinct.
Planning for the Precinct commenced in 2015 and the vision is for it to become a world-class education precinct, providing excellence in teaching and learning in Melbourne’s inner west, and opportunities across all stages of learning from early childhood to university
The Footscray Learning Precinct includes Footscray City Primary, Footscray Primary and Footscray High School. Victoria University and Maribyrnong City Council are key partners in the project.
What is an integrated early learning centre (IELC)?
Integrated early learning centres (IELCs) are key hubs for the community and bring together a range of professional services to deliver education, care, health and support services to children and their families. IELCs can provide a focal point for new communities in growth areas and improve the accessibility, quality, and integration of early childhood services in established metropolitan and regional areas.
What is being built?
The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA), in partnership with Maribyrnong City Council, will build a new IELC to support the growing demand for early years education and care services in the area.
Demolition and removal works throughout early 2021 have prepared the site for construction.
What will the new IELC provide?
The facility will offer:
- Three-year-old kindergarten
- Four-year-old kindergarten
- Long day childcare
- Large outdoor play and education spaces
- Qualified, experienced, supportive, and friendly staff
- Maternal Child Health (MCH) services
Why was the site next to the primary school chosen?
Building a co-located centre on or next to a primary school site provides many benefits for Victorian families, including making:
- early years programs easier to access
- drop-off times simpler and more convenient
- a smooth transition from early years’ programs to school.
Having an IELC adjacent to the school helps create a hub that benefits the whole community. Each new early year’s facility will be built to ensure the best possible education outcomes for all children.
You can access the above information in a designed factsheet.
Indicative site plan, ground floor
This image show the proposed ground floor site plan for Footscray Integrated Early Lsearning Centre. Marked up on the plan is:
- 2 Maternal and Child Health (MCH) consulting rooms
- Maternal and Child Health (MCH) waiting room
- 3 Long Day Care playrooms
- children amenities
- sleep Room
- meeting and planning room
- staff room
- staff courtyard
- outdoor playground
Indicative site plan, first floor
This image shows the proposed first floor site plan for Footscray Integrated Early Learning Centre. Marked up on the plan is:
- 2 Preschool playrooms
- outdoor playground
- staff courtyard
- children amenities
- 3 store rooms
- 2 outdoor sheds
Reviewed 03 August 2023