An official sod turning ceremony signalled the commencement of construction for a new childcare centre at Nepean Hospital this morning.
The existing Somerset Cottage Early Childhood Education and Care Centre is located on Somerset Street but will be relocated to the new site on the corner of the Great Western Highway and The Northern Road, to make way for the hospital expansion.
Penrith MP Stuart Ayres joined NBMLHD Chief Executive Kay Hyman and District Board Chair Peter Collins to turn the first sod on construction.
Mr Ayres said this project is yet another puzzle piece in the $1 billion masterplan for the hospital.
“Today is an important day as we mark the start of work on this new modern centre that is securing the future of childcare services at Nepean Hospital for staff and their families,” Mr Ayres said.
“During the construction period, childcare services will operate as normal in the current centre until the new facility is ready to move in to.”
The 68-space centre offers services to staff of the hospital to help support hardworking professionals and their young families.
“Returning to work after starting a family can be emotional, so having this service on campus helps out,” Mr Ayres said.
“It also ensures the hospital can continue to retain and attract highly skilled health professionals by supporting their families.”
Staff and parents had the opportunity to participate in the planning process to ensure the new spaces in the childcare centre meet children’s needs for years to come.
The tender to build the new childcare centre was recently awarded to Donnelly Construction and work is scheduled for completion mid next year.
Mr Collins said the facilities will be state-of-the-art and will continue to offer high quality care for the children of hospital staff.
“This is just a small part of the upgrade but an absolute integral one because as a Board and as an LHD we want to support our staff and make sure that they feel confident that their children can be looked after while they are at work,” he said.
Mr Ayres said stage one of the Nepean Hospital upgrade is now 15 per cent of the way complete.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.