Welcome to the First Steps Count Child and Community Centre

The First Steps Count Child and Community Centre has been in planning for over 10 years. It has taken the dedication and persistence of a group of passionate community members to get the project to the point where we have adequate funding to deliver an operational centre in 2021. Additional funding is required to see the Centre through to completion with full fit out and landscaping so we are actively fundraising and applying for grants in order to achieve this goal.

What is it?View Our Journey

What is it?

The First Steps Count Child and Community Centre will be a multi-purpose facility where children and their families access services and programs in a collaborative way in a safe, welcoming environment. First Steps Count will be partnering with key agencies and organisations to ensure efficient, high quality, timely access to support for children and their families.
First Steps Count Child and Community Centre will provide a unique facility for service providers to deliver coordinated programs for children, families and young people as well as serving as a community hub.
  • Purpose built rooms and spaces designed for children to participate in programs, playgroup, therapy and activities, both indoor and outdoor
  • A place where needs assessment of children can occur in an informal setting
  • A social meeting place for the community
  • Office space for health, education and community professionals
  • Consulting rooms for visiting service providers
  • A conference / event facility, including meeting and training rooms

Our Centre. Our Family. Our Community

The Centre is located on Biripi land in Myall Avenue, Taree. Cultural heritage and connection to the land is preserved through an advisory committee of local Aboriginal people – The Yarnin’ Circle.

The First Steps Count Child and Community Centre has been designed to achieve Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification. The aim of this framework is to help us to create projects that are positive and regenerative. Following these Living Building Challenge guidelines means that the First Steps Count Child and Community Centre and its surrounds provides a unique facility that is sensitive and responsive to its environment.

Our Journey

A timeline of our achievements and setbacks.

June 2008

A small group of early childhood service providers and advocates agree that there is a need for an integrated service provision model for children in Taree.

2009

The name “First Steps Count” is confirmed and the First Steps Count Inc. Management Committee is established.

Greater Taree City Council agree to provide the land for construction of the Centre in Myall Avenue, Taree.

Architects Without Frontiers (AWF) donates $18,000 for preparation of a Master Plan for the First Steps Count Child and Family Centre.

2010

Application for building funds to Regional Development Australia (RDA) Round 2 unsuccessful.

First Steps Count incorporated as an association.

Community consultation underway.

Pidcock Architects undertakes the Master Plan task on behalf of AWF.

2011

Vincent Family Fairfax Foundation (VFFF) donates funds towards the completion of a Development Application (DA) for the First Steps Count Child and Family Centre.

Local community raises $30,000 towards the project.

Discussions commence with service providers, philanthropic organisations, business and community groups.

2012

A portion of land belonging to the NSW Department of Education declared necessary to satisfy Asset Protection Zone requirements.

Application for building funds to Regional Development Australia (RDA) Round 4 unsuccessful.

Greater Taree City Council confirms the allocation of land to First Steps Count Inc.

Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation promises $1 million towards the Centre dependent upon a contribution of government funding.

Adoption of the Living Building Challenge by Pidcock Architects.

2013

Requirement for Asset Protection Zone to be added to the FSC site. DA preparation resumes.

Ongoing consultation with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

Future partnership with University of Wollongong “Early Start” project under negotiation.