Childcare shortages eased for now

DUBBO’s childcare shortage has eased but the pressure on Playmates Cottage to relocate from Dubbo Hospital could put the crisis back to “square one”.

DUBBO’s childcare shortage has eased but the pressure on Playmates Cottage to relocate from Dubbo Hospital could put the crisis back to “square one”.

The number of children on waiting lists for childcare spots has dropped from 70 last year to 50.

Dubbo City Council’s social services manager John Watts said yesterday this could still mean there would be a 12-month minimum wait for fulltime working families.

A round table discussion was held between the Playmates Cottage management committee, federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton, state MP for Dubbo Troy Grant, a hospital executive and council representative about the future of the community based childcare centre on Tuesday.

Playmates Cottage subcommittee chairperson Virginia Morley said after the meeting, the centre was given three options.

“Basically it came down to us needing to decide to stay and fight or consider moving off campus,” Ms Morley said.

She said no indication was given to encourage the centre it was included in the hospital’s future plans.

“Although options have been provided in regards to possibly relocating and keeping playmates open, at this point there is no funding for that,” she said.

Ms Morley said Dubbo already had a shortage of childcare places.

“If Playmates Cottage was to close, that would be another 42 daily childcare spots Dubbo won’t have,” she said.

Director of Stepping Stones Childcare Centre Jena Glover said the opening of a new centre has helped the situation but “if anything happens to Playmates because it’s under threat of closure then we’d be back to square one”.

Mayor Mathew Dickerson said he was an advocate for Playmates to remain at its present site.

He said he requested the NSW minister of health and Troy Grant repeal the decision to not renew Playmates’ lease after 31 December 2015 so a new long-term lease could be negotiated to secure the centre’s long-term future.

“Childcare facilities in Dubbo are essential for attracting and retaining new residents and we continue to support the community sentiment that Playmates Cottage should remain in its existing location,” he said.

An open meeting will be held at 6pm on February 12 to discuss three options given from the meetings about the future of Playmates.

Troy Grant was unavailable for comment while he toured with the premier yesterday.

Source Article from http://www.dailyliberal.com.au/story/2071528/childcare-shortages-eased-for-now/?src=rss
Childcare shortages eased for now
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カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク

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