Raising the BARR – Week ending 21/07/2023

brain boom in first 5 years
Raising the Barr

Our Brains Boom in the first 5 years


Investing in our young people, our really young people, is probably one of the most important things that we, as a society, can do. And to be clear, “investing” doesn’t necessarily mean money – it also includes time spent, sharing of love, creating joy, plenty of laughter, singing, reading and movement.


Did you know that by age 5, the human brain has achieved approximately 90% of its physical size? Or did you know that many researchers believe that newborn babies already have all of their brain cells and that life experiences from that first moment of breathing life will be about how the brain gets wired up and connected? It is believed that a child under the age of 5 might be making as many as 1 million new connections in their brain, every second!


All of these wonderful features about a young child’s developing brain is why I am always excited when our childcare and pre-school centres get Government funding to help them do great things.


Just 2 weeks ago one of our local centres received a NSW Government Grant of $3.14 million dollars to build a brand new centre in one of our fast growing villages.


In years gone by I have had the joy of handing over funding to a host of our local pre-schools and childcare centres to help them with a variety of small projects to make each day more stimulating for our young ones.


If we truly want a brighter future with great minds and happy people leading the way then shaping creative and well-developed young children is the way to go. We can all have our thoughts and arguments on funding for roads or tunnels or trains or stadiums, but hopefully we can all agree investing in our youngest people is a wise investment indeed.


Still Remembering Those From the Greta Bus Tragedy


Six weeks have passed since the tragic bus crash in Greta. This has been a long and difficult time for those directly affected by the crash. They have attended far too many funerals in such a short period of time, and they have mourned too many lives lost too soon.


I recently attended the return to competition of the Singleton Roosters AFL teams – the sporting community that lost so many of their own. I attended with Premier Chris Minns and Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell. Announced on the day was $1.7M in funding for an extension to the change-rooms and facilities at the ground and this was, at times, described as a “memorial” to those that died in that terrible event. But I am also very mindful that not every life lost had connection to Singleton Roosters AFL.


One thing that I do want to make very clear is that the potential for a “memorial” to be built at the roundabout at Greta, the scene of the tragedy, is still most definitely an option. We will be guided by the families and friends of those affected as to if and/or when that happens, and what form it might take.



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For enquiries regarding the State Government or its departments, or to put you in contact with someone who can help, please contact my office.  My office can be contacted by phoning 4991-1466, by email to cessnock@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call into 118 Vincent Street (PO Box 242), Cessnock 2325.


You can also follow me on my Facebook page “www.facebook.com/claytonbarrmp”,  follow me on Instagram at “claytonbarrmp“ or check out my website at www.claytonbarr.com.au