Thousands of Queensland families will benefit from a new hybrid childcare-paediatric health centre on the Gold Coast. Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure is creating the ground-breaking facility at the new $80 million Proxima building within Lumina in the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct (the Precinct).
Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure will pioneer a new model for integrated care, drawing on the expertise of paediatric specialists at Proxima and at the nearby Gold Coast University and Gold Coast Private Hospitals, as well as students and researchers from Griffith University.
Proxima, which will house the city’s first fully integrated paediatric health centre, is the first private development within Lumina – the Queensland Government’s 9.5-hectare commercial cluster dedicated to growing the life sciences, health and technology-related businesses within the Precinct.
Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure cofounders, husband and wife team Damian and Lauren Hall, predict the Proxima-based centre will deliver social outcomes to assist thousands of families caring for children with special needs, not just those directly enrolled.
Lauren Hall said they anticipate about 25 per cent of the 400 enrolments at the centre would be referred children with identified special needs, with the remaining placements open to general enquiries from the community.
“We have wanted to create a centre tailored towards identifying and nurturing children with special needs for many years and have been waiting for the right time and place to put this plan in to action,” she said.
“Proxima is the ideal canvas for us to work from, with an array of paediatric specialists and allied health services expected to work from within the building, in an established community of some of the country’s best medical professionals and academics at the neighbouring hospitals and university.
“The reason we have been working towards this more holistic model is because we were confronted by research showing the high percentage of divorces and the break down of family units when the requirements for a special needs child were not adequately met.
”We are disheartened by the fact that many young children are slipping through the cracks with physical or mental issues that go undiagnosed because they lack access to educators who are trained to notice early warning signs and communicate these to parents.”
Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure currently operates five centres across Queensland, offering the highest quality care and education.
Damian Hall said while their existing centres are already completely inclusive, the new Proxima site will include a more dedicated focus on disability and special needs early education and care.
“At Proxima, we will have an in-house special education director, and will train all staff to be able to manage and identify those with additional needs,” he said.
“We will also be creating partnerships with specialists who come on board at Proxima and those who work at the hospital and university. These specialists will become part of our team and will, with parental permission, have the ability to work with children directly.
“We believe more needs be done to provide streamlined, accessible and timely support for families who may be struggling with a special needs child, and all families who are navigating early childhood development.
“The learnings from this project will help improve social outcomes for everyone and will hopefully spark a long-term change in the way early childhood educators, specialists and businesses work together.”
Proxima is being developed by Evans Long, which acquired the project site from the Queensland Government, and lodged a development application for the building with Economic Development Queensland in August.
Evans Long director Dirk Long says Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure is the first in what will become a world-class cohort of paediatric specialists, all under one roof and providing the opportunity for businesses to also lease space in this 11,500sqm building.
“The vision is for Proxima is to provide A grade office accommodation for users looking to benefit from all the precinct has to offer. The paediatric component of the building will allow us to lead the way as an example of what can be achieved through the power of collaboration,” he said.
“We are already negotiating leases with a number of other private and public health groups that would complement Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure and its vision to deliver holistic care for all children.
“Pending approvals, we are aiming to commence construction of Proxima early next year, with the building expected to be complete and operational for all businesses by mid 2022.
Source: Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure
Featured Image: ProMedia Photography By Paul A. Broben