Preschool funding – first for NSW

Visiting Larool Preschool in Thornleigh
Visiting Larool Preschool in Thornleigh

It was announced recently that NSW will become the first state in the country to fund three year-olds to attend preschool.

This will see a significant reduction in fees for families and will mean more children in Hornsby will be able to attend preschool. I visited local preschool Larool in Thornleigh to speak to Director Monique Olthof about the pressures faced by the preschool. This announcement will mean Larool will be able to offer more 3 year-olds places, and parents will no longer have to fork out high fees. Currently Larool charges $66 per day for 3 year-old students and Ms Olthof believes this should drop significantly once the funding is in place.

It has been proven early education at preschool gives students a head start in literacy development, better results in NAPLAN, increased likelihood of university attendance and better health outcomes.

Celebrating 50 years of netball

I was pleased to join the committee both past and present at Hills District Netball to celebrate its 50th Birthday.

Hills first began in 1958 when the Principal of Beecroft Primary School Mr Edgar Dill decided there should be a Saturday morning sport for girls in the area. With the help of Rotary, a number of schools started a competition. From those humble beginnings Hills has grown to 20 clubs spanning North Ryde to Berowra. There are thousands of registered players from the NetSetGo teams playing on Friday night to the Juniors and Seniors playing on Saturday.

I spent many years watching my sister play Netball at Hills and this organisation has some of the most dedicated volunteers in the country. I was pleased to assist in presenting the volunteer long service awards to Lesley Milner and Lyn Burgess, who still remain heavily involved with the association. Edna Wardrop, the oldest surviving president, was on hand to cut the cake.

Congratulations to Hills District Netball Association on 50 years of bringing netball to our community.

Big changes at Hornsby Hospital

I was proud to have turned the first sod to mark the official start of the $200 million Stage 2 redevelopment at Hornsby Hospital, sharing the occasion with the wonderful staff from the Hospital, who do an amazing job looking after our community.

The redevelopment is about providing a better experience for patients, carers, staff and visitors to Hornsby Ku-ring-gai in a purpose-built facility that meets the needs of the community well into the future.

The $200 million redevelopment, expected to be completed in 2021, will deliver a refurbished and expanded Emergency Department. The new Clinical Services Building will accommodate a wide variety of specialities including a combined Intensive Care and High Dependency Unit, combined Respiratory/Cardiac and Coronary Care beds co-located with a Cardiac Investigations Unit, Ambulatory Care Centre, Medical Imaging and Paediatrics just to name a few. This will become a one stop shop making it easier for patients visiting the hospital.

This is in addition to the $19.8 million multi-storey car park due to open in early 2019.

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