A purpose built, state-of-the-art early education centre is set to open in Branxton in 2020, with construction beginning this week.
The St Nicholas Early Education centre will provide care and education for up to 104 children/
Catholic Diocese of Maitland - Newcastle chief executive Sean Scanlon said the site, directly opposite Rosary Park Primary School, was selected with parents in mind.
"We want to make the school drop-off and pick-up experience as easy as possible for parents and children," Mr Scanlon said.
"With the addition of an early education centre across the road from Rosary Park Primary School, parents with children of various ages can avoid the hassle of getting in and out of the car for multiple drops offs, saving precious time."
On Friday, Mr Scanlon and general operations manager Kerri Armstrong visited the green fields' site in Station Street to ceremoniously turn the first sod.
Mr Scanlon said the early education centre would also provide a boost to employment locally.
"At capacity we expect the centre to employ approximately 22 educators, three trainees a cook and cleaners. St Nicholas Early Education promotes employment from the local community as a priority," Mr Scanlon said.
Branxton will be the seventh early education centre operated by the Diocese in the Hunter region for St Nicholas Early Education.
Other sites include Lochinvar, Chisholm, Singleton, Newcastle West, Raymond Terrace and Cardiff.
"Branxton and the surrounding area has been identified as an area of extensive growth over the next five years," Mr Scanlon said.
"St Nicholas plans to provide early education services that will cater to the needs of the community now, and in the future.
"Our research indicates that by 2026, the area will experience a 41 per cent population growth."
Future developments are planned for Maitland, Muswellbrook, Gillieston Heights and Medowie.