Wakefield Regional Council has committed $60,000 to support an expansion of childcare services from Balaklava Community Children’s Centre (BCCC) to Snowtown.
At its July meeting, WRC resolved to offer BCCC an interest free start-up loan of $60,000 to deliver childcare services to Snowtown under an outreach type of arrangement.
BCCC Director Dale Gathercole was excited with the news of the expansion of childcare services for Snowtown.
“We are thrilled council has allowed for the two year trial to be conducted, so people get the chance and time to utilise the service,” Dale said.
“We are excited for the opportunity to coach and mentor other educators to a national quality standard.”
“Deputy director, Cara Nielsen has been working closely with Snowtown centre’s representative, Belinda Stringer, in preparation for this.”
Council conducted a region-wide study last year with Deakin University, which reinforced the gap in childcare services, with particular needs identified in Port Wakefield and Snowtown for long day care (LDC) and an Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) service.
WRC mayor Rodney Reid said providing the vital services the community need is a priority for council in its pursuit to deliver an attractive lifestyle to both potential homebuyers and long-term existing residents.
As the study revealed, the lack of childcare was acting as a barrier to population growth.
“BCCC is an exemplary service facility and through this partnership more children will be able to access it and experience industry-backed early learning programs,” Mayor Reid said.
“It’s a support to the Snowtown community but also recognises the contribution of BCCC, which is offering the expertise of staff to enable childcare services to grow throughout the district.
“This will allow working parents easier access to such services, which makes these communities more liveable when the facilities are nearby.”