The University’s Childcare Strategy Working Group was established to develop a holistic vision and strategy for University children’s services. The Strategy is to be informed by research undertaken by Melbourne Graduate School of Education discipline experts, an assessment of demand from University staff and students, analysis of delivery options, and benchmarking against the local sector and other higher education institutions.
A key aspect of the Childcare Strategy will be the creation of an additional childcare centre located in a low-rise development zone on The Avenue in Parkville. This facility will be a new build, and will provide opportunities for parents and staff to provide input into the design and vision for the centre. It will also provide an easy drop-off and pick-up option for parents, convenient location close to the Parkville campus and direct access to significant Melbourne parklands in Royal Park and Princes Park.
Our campus in the 21st century
Our Campus in the 21st Century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future.
The Childcare Strategy will support OC21 in the following ways:
TECHNOLOGY AND TRADITION
The University of Melbourne Childcare Strategy responds to the Growing Esteem Strategy by demonstrating leading design and pedagogical practice to improve, create and enhance children services for the children of University staff and students.
SYNERGY AND INNOVATION
Utilsing the exemplary teaching and learning expertise of our Melbourne Graduate School of Education faculty, the Childcare Strategy will ensure that world-class teaching and learning practice and high quality outcomes are embedded into the University’s childcare offerings.
A holistic vision and strategy for the University’s childcare services has been carefully considered in response to the much needed demand by staff and students for increased childcare places. This vision is underpinned by a commitment to deliver services that are benchmarked against the local sector and exemplary childcare facilities more broadly.
A CULTURE OF INCLUSION
The University recognises the diverse cohort of its students and the need to provide support beyond academia. The commitment by the University to provide 300 new childcare places by 2020 is in response to this, offering a childcare for children 0 – 5 years of age at varied facilities that are in close proximity to the Parkville campus.
SPACES AND PLACES
The Childcare Strategy is looking to re-purpose existing buildings where possible to deliver on its childcare objectives, as well as source locations for new builds that are both desirable in location and create experiences that support the optimum learning environments for children’s development.
What is the Childcare Strategy?
In October 2016, led by then Deputy Provost Professor Sue Elliott, the University’s Childcare Strategy Working Group was established to develop a holistic vision and strategy for University children’s services. The Strategy was to be informed by research undertaken by the Melbourne Graduate School of Education (MGSE) discipline experts, an assessment of demand from University staff and students, analysis of delivery options, and bench-marking against the local sector and other higher education institutions. A Childcare Strategy Working Group has been established to guide new development in the childcare space and to ensure the delivery of around 300 new childcare places for the children of the University’s staff and students in the next 3 – 5 years.
Will this strategy include more childcare centres?
A key component of this expansion is the development of a new childcare centre at The Avenue, Parkville. Significantly, The Avenue is located in a low-rise development zone with new builds unable to exceed four storey high. The Avenue will be a new build, providing opportunities for parents and staff to provide input into the design and vision for the centre. It will also provide an easy drop-off and pick-up option for parents, convenient location close to the Parkville campus and close proximity to significant Melbourne parklands in Royal Park and Princes Park. The option to extend the existing facility at the Early Learning Centre (ELC) at Abbotsford is also being considered as well as a standalone facility on the adjacent ‘Lourdes’ site and a combined centre across the existing ELC and Lourdes site.
Kennedy Nolan architects have been appointed by the University to prepare concept and schematic design for both The Avenue site in Parkville and the Early Learning Centre and Lourdes site in Abbotsford.
This design work will be undertaken in the first half of 2018 to inform a business case . Community engagement (inclusive of current parents) will be arranged through workshops with architects to provide an opportunity to contribute to the design of future facilities.
The schematic designs will inform the Business Case that the University will prepare in 2018, seeking approval (including funding) for future facility development in response to the University’s commitment to provide an additional 300 childcare places by 2020 (presently 273).
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