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Construction begins this week on a pioneering childcare centre in the Central West town of Wellington designed to create new bonds and communication between the young and old.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Calare Andrew Gee, who turned the first sod on the project on Friday, said the construction of a childcare centre alongside the existing Maranatha House aged and disability care facility would promote interaction between different generations.

“With space for 57 children to learn from and interact with residents across different age groups and abilities, including a separate informal ‘yarning space’ for all residents to meet in, this centre will establish connections across the community,” Mr Gee said.

“These intimate interactions between the young and old will break down social barriers between generations and increase the quality of life for Maranatha House residents.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Federal Liberal and Nationals Government’s $1.5 million investment in Wellington’s childcare sector would provide long-term social and economic benefits to the region.

“This is a huge expansion in local childcare capacity, creating a quality four-room facility with sleeping spaces for 14 children, consulting rooms, office facilities for staff and even sensory gardens and a bush-tucker garden, giving children outdoor space as well,” Mr McCormack said.

“This investment will also provide long-term economic benefits to the region by creating 12 ongoing roles at the facility, attracting young families to remain in the area and providing the very young the opportunity to grow up healthy and happy.”

The Federal Liberal and Nationals Government is investing $1.5 million in the project under the Building Better Regions program, a $841 million investment designed to create jobs, drive economic growth, and build stronger regional communities into the future. Maranatha House also contributed $1.5 million.