Mia helps Sharon Knight State Labor Member for Wendouree cut the ribbon while the rest of the children and teachers look on.

LAST week the official opening of the upgraded Municipal Band Hall in Ripon St South took place. The Municipal Band Hall upgrade has enabled the adjacent Fidelity Club Kindergarten to expand its early years programming to offer three-year old kindergarten for the first time. The upgrade continues the work of the City of Ballarat to develop early learning facilities across the municipality. The City of Ballarat contributed $150,000 of the

total project cost, with the remaining funding provided by the Fidelity Kindergarten Committee and the Fidelity Charitable Trust (combined $13,000), the Department of Education ($10,000), ECKA ($10,000) and the Municipal Band Hall ($5,000). State Labor Member for Wendouree Sharon knight said it was great outcome with a partnership between so many people – state government and local government, the kinder community and the brass band. “It’s wonderful that now you have this extra space which means more children can come along and learn and grow and develop with the fantastic staff here,” Ms Knight said.

“We know it is incredibly important to start off learning at such an early age and that will actually stand those children in really good stead as they get older and go on to primary school , secondary school and then out into the work force.

“It also ignites that curiosity in children that is just so important and that we hope they hold on to for the rest of their lives because we know that learning is a lifelong thing.” Deputy Mayor Cr Belinda Coates firstly congratulated everyone on this ‘fabulous project’, saying, “I think one of the most rewarding things as a councilor with the City is to see when organisations and community groups actually work together and collaborate, and this is just such a terrific example of that and such a fabulous new wing.

“We know that for every dollar that we spend in early years it saves us money later on and it really is an investment in our future.”