TASMANIAN Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne yesterday performed the official opening of the Derwent Valley Child and Family Centre in New Norfolk. Now called Ptunarra after an endemic but threatened Tasmanian butterfly, the centre has been built on the Ellis Dean Reserve next door to Blair St Kindergarten.
Ms O'Byrne said the centre was already delivering a range of services to support families and give children the best possible start in life. "Like similar centres around the state, Ptunarra is an example of Government and communities working together to provide the services families want and need," she said. "The State Government is committed to providing every child with the opportunities they deserve."
Ms O'Byrne said Ptunarra would be a hub for lifelong learning for families and a support centre for children in their early years. "Ptunarra will offer a range of programs to improve the health and well-being, education and care of Tasmania's very young children by supporting parents and enhancing accessibility of services in the local community."
Programs and services already available at the centre include Launching into Learning, a first aid course for parents, and courses titled "Being a Parent" and "Plant, Grow and Eat." Ms O'Byrne said Ptunarra would also provide a perfect place for children to learn through playing and socialising with other children and their families.
Similar child and family centres are being established in communities throughout Tasmania with 11 already operational at Beaconsfield, St Helens, Ravenswood, Burnie, East Devonport, Queenstown, Bridgewater, Clarence Plains, Geeveston, Chigwell and now New Norfolk.