[singlepic id=276 w=320 h=240 float=left]Southern corridor families are one step closer to accessing a wide range of early childhood services when services start in Edmonton from early next year.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said he was pleased to announce The Benevolent Society would operate the new centre and its satellite services.

“The Cairns Early Years Centre and its satellite services finalises the Bligh Government’s $32 million commitment to establish four Early Years Centres across the state,” Mr Pitt said.

“The purpose-built Early Years Centre will be constructed on the Bentley Park College site in 2011, part of the southern growth corridor of Cairns.

“Early childhood services will start from temporary premises at Bentley Park College from early next year, with satellite services to operate from Edmonton and Gordonvale.”

Mr Pitt said The Benevolent Society would receive funding of $1.8 million per year over the next three years to operate the service in Cairns, with funding for one-off establishment costs of $450,000 also available.

“The Benevolent Society already operates the Browns Plains and North Gold Coast Early Years Centres and has successfully connected with these local communities through its extensive support services,” he said.

The Benevolent Society’s state manager Michael Tizard said the Society was looking forward to continuing their association with the Queensland Government by supporting Cairns families and their children through their early years.

“Our purpose is to create caring and inclusive communities and we will always look for ways to connect and work with the local community,” Mr Tizard said.

“We have developed strong partnerships with local service providers and will establish satellite services to complement those provided at the Bentley Park College Hub, for families and children in surrounding areas.”

Mr Pitt said the centre would provide a 44-place kindergarten service on site.

Queensland Health will also deliver a range of valuable maternal and child health services from the centre and the satellite sites.

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