Home' The Canberra Times : CHRONICLE 24.07.12 Contents Volume 17 No. 29
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012
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Early learning right on time
Principal Julie Cooper and Education Minister Chris Bourke discuss plans for the Franklin Early Childhood Centre with builders. Picture: Daniel Spellman
CANBERRA'S first purpose-built
early childhood education facility will
open on time, relieving pressure on
Gungahlin schools from the beginning
of next year.
The $44.1 million Franklin Early
Childhood School will include a
120-place child care centre, which will
be leased and run by Anglicare, a pre-
school for 100 students and kindergar-
ten to year 2 classes for up to 189
Julie Cooper was appointed as the
school's first principal in May.
She has more than 30 years'
experience in early childhood edu-
cation, most recently as the deputy
principal of Amaroo and Caroline
''I suppose one of the things that
attracted me was the opportunity to
love that process and give children the
best start in life,'' she said.
''Early childhood plays such a
crucial part in the success of children
... you develop that interest and passion
Ms Cooper has been preparing for
the start of the 2013 school year from
an empty classroom out the back of
She will begin the process of
staffing the school soon, and expects to
have about 10 people on staff next
''The beauty of the next six months
is we are able to spend time planning
and organising ... our vision for the
school,'' she said.
''We're making our own history,
which is exciting.''
Former education minister Andrew
Barr used his call-in powers to approve
the school's development in December
The area on Oodgeroo Street will
include a small oval area and hard
courts with a vision to eventually
include more community facilities
such as a community park and urban
Education Minister Chris Bourke
said the new facility -- which would
join four other early childhood schools
across the capital -- would meet an
important need in Gungahlin.
''It's the first purpose-built early
child school that we have built in the
ACT,'' he said. ''There's tremendous
demand out there [in Gungahlin] for
child care and an early childhood
''We can see there's a need.''
Bonner Primary School is also on
track to open for the start of term 1 in
2013, accommodating up to 560 pre-
school and primary school places for
families in the north Gungahlin region.
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