Loss of childcare places feared

Story appeared in: Inner West Times | July 11th, 2018

A DECISION by the NSW Education Department not to renew the Globe-Wilkins Preschool's existing lease at the Wilkins Public School in Petersham, could set off a cascade of changes in Inner West Council run child care services and early education centres.
One option under consideration is to move the Globe to the May Murray Early Learning Centre at Marrickville, with the children currently attending May Murray going to a new 60-place long-day care at Steel Park which in the final stages of completion and due to open in 2019.
A second 60-place centre is also set to open at Leichhardt Park within a few months.
Faced with a choice to outsource management of two new centres - to have the council run them or to adopt one of two complicated re-shuffles of childcare places involving the Globe, May Murray and the Leichhardt Children's Centre, councillors deferred their decision to get more information.
Discovering the issue was on the council's agenda just five days before the meeting, parents from May Murray want their centre left alone.
Beth Taylor says her four-year-old son Clem is "thriving" at the 24-place centre and is concerned the proposed Globe move would "cause more problems than it would solve".
"We really value the excellent teachers, who get to know every child, and the homely environment of the centre," she said.
Annabel Rijks, who's two-year-old son Oliver attends May Murray, said parents were angry at the lack of consultation.
"Our children (are) being viewed simply as numbers to be shuffled around on a council spreadsheet," she said.
"With the council amalgamation, we were told that services would not change, however the high-quality childcare services, which the previous Marrickville Council have been providing for many decades, seems to be in the sights of the Inner West Council."

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Publication: Inner West Times | Section: News | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 138630 | Viewcount: 1377