Early Learning Centre Launch for Shellharbour Community

Michael Austin Director, CatholicCare Wollongong
When we consider that 90% of the brain development of a child occurs by the age of 5, and that quality early learning can profoundly shape and create positive pathways throughout life, the mission call for this work is truly compelling.

Today, CatholicCare Wollongong kicked off celebrations for National Families Week with the launch of a new Early Learning Centre at Shellharbour.

The state-of-the-art centre was officially opened and blessed by Bishop Brian Mascord and CatholicCare Director Michael Austin.

"It seemed fitting to launch our new Early Learning Centre on such an important week, which celebrates the vital role that families play in the community", "Today marks the start of National Families Week", said Director Michael Austin.

CatholicCare is a social service agency which has delivered community services for over 40 years. "We had a dream of extending our Mission to contribute to the lives of children and families at a most significant stage, in the early years", said Mr Austin.

"When we consider that 90% of the brain development of a child occurs by the age of 5, and that quality early learning can profoundly shape and create positive pathways throughout life, the mission call for this work is truly compelling", he said.

The centre has been operational for two months, and is already supporting families who have recently migrated to Australia, helping them to navigate the childcare landscape and ensuring they feel welcome in the community.

"We embrace cultural and religious diversity, with thoughtfully designed play spaces, and with resources and menus that are supportive of a range of practices and beliefs", said Mr Austin.

"Our aspiration is to create more Early Childhood Education and Care Centres across the Diocese, and continue this journey of delivering the highest quality programs based on the latest evidenced-based research, with always the child and family at the centre", he said.   

The centre is still taking registrations for a limited number of places.

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