We are building a new state-of-the-art children’s centre for local families.

When complete, the Fern Street Children’s Centre will include a purpose built building, car parking and an intergenerational children’s sensory garden and link to Tricks Reserve. The Centre will provide for 3 and 4 year old kindergarten, occasional care, playgroup, a toy library, maternal and child health and other family services and a multipurpose community room. We are improving the existing playground to ensure alignment across the space.

The new centre is a once in a lifetime opportunity to improve the accessibility, quality and integration of early childhood services in Bayside’s south.

The Victorian Government is providing $1.6million towards the $5million cost of the centre.

  • A two-room 66 place kindergarten
  • A 20 place Occasional Care room
  • Capacity to provide a smaller scale Toy Library
  • A room for Playgroups to use, where parents/caregivers and their children meet to play.
  • A consulting room available for Maternal and Child Health
  • A community room for hire for small to medium sized groups and available for hire in the day and/or evening for activities such as club meetings, yoga.

The Bayside Early Years Infrastructure Plan 2018-2028 was endorsed by Council in August 2018. ASR Consultants were engaged to provide a review of the current state of Bayside’s early year’s infrastructure and recommendations for the future state. Strengths and shortcomings of the existing infrastructure were identified in terms of meeting current and future need.


  • Janet Mundy Kindergarten in Fern Street was closed by the Incorporation in 2017. The facility was assessed as no longer fit for purpose.
  • St John’s Kindergarten, a 55 place centre in Sandringham, is closing.
  • Beaumaris three-year-old kindergarten was closed by the Incorporation early 2019. With no four-year-old service offered, families opted for kindergartens providing both three and four-year-old programs.
  • The southern end of the municipality is now experiencing a shortage of kindergarten places. Families are having to accept places further away from their immediate community and feeder primary schools
  • State funding for three-year-old kindergarten was endorsed early 2019.
  • A State wide Infrastructure capacity assessment has commenced to understand the service implications of providing up to an additional 10 hours for three-year-olds.
  • For community kindergartens in Bayside, this will require an increase of up to ten hours a week of service provision which is not possible in single room facilities.

Occasional Care

  • Sessional kindergarten is highly valued in the Bayside community. However, the timetable does not always work.
  • Occasional Care is a service which can compliment the community kindergarten timetable and model and provide extended care options.
  • Currently, there are no occasional care services in the southern end of the municipality.

Toy Library

  • Capacity to provide a smaller scale Toy Library to compliment Bayside’s only existing library located in Brighton. The service provides families with a financially viable option for an environmentally sustainable approach to toy accessibility.
  • Data collected in 2018 indicates that families in the southern end of the municipality would welcome this local service.


  • A room for Playgroups to use, where parents/caregivers and their children meet to play.
  • Playgroup participation enables health and wellbeing outcomes on many levels, for both the children and their parents/caregivers.
  • Bayside’s Playhouses in Beaumaris and Hampton experience membership waiting lists. A need for an additional playgroup venue was identified in the Early Year’s Infrastructure Plan.

Maternal and Child Health

  • The Fern Street site will have a consulting room available for Maternal and Child Health. There is strong evidence outcomes for children are improved where early year’s services work alongside each other.

The natural environment is important to the Bayside community. The natural environment is evidenced as being educational, nurturing and healing for all ages and abilities.

  • The natural landscape will underpin the design of the built environment
  • The landscape surrounding the building and connecting to Trick’s Reserve will include sensory garden and play elements for all to enjoy
  • The open space of Trick’s Reserve will not be compromised by the footprint of the build at Fern Street but rather the build will enhance the aesthetic and purpose of the open space.

A preliminary arboricultural assessment report is available to view via the document library.

The playground at Trick’s Reserve will be upgraded in line with Council’s Playground Improvement Plan.

  • On-site drop in sessions were held for community members to provide input into the types of play experiences they would like offered in the upgraded playground.
  • Sessions were held in September.

The planned usage for the Fern Street site will bring more traffic from the local community. Council is considering:

  • Options for car parking are being explored with a traffic engineer. Approximately 12 bays for the Centre are required to support the long term parking demands of the services. The locations being explored for parking are directly off Fern Street, or to the east of the site.
  • The first approach is to use the road reserve for parking so as not to encroach on parkland.
  • Any new car parking will be sealed with kerb and line channel markings and include accessible bays.
  • The traffic assessment has reviewed previous parking data and is undertaking additional parking surveys to determine street parking availabilities which will likely accommodate some of the short term parking requirements.
  • Due to the nature of the services of the Centre, peak times of approximately 30 minutes will reduce the load for long term parking.
  • The project team is exploring the use of operational measures to stagger drop off and pick up times associated with the kindergarten and occasional care facility, as well as staggering times of the activity room with the other uses.

A preliminary traffic report is available to view via the document library,

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Family and Youth Services Coordinator

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