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Eden early childhood centres to merge

Eden Childcare children playing with bloxks.4 July 2018

Early childhood education in Eden is set for a significant change, with Council to co-locate Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre from January 2019.

The merged entity will operate from the Eden Childcare Centre facility in Bimmil Street, with Council to investigate options for the best utilisation of the current Preschool site in nearby Stanley Street.

The newly merged early learning service will include both long day care and preschool programs, similar to Council’s successful multipurpose Bega service, Bandara Children’s Services.

Eden Childcare Centre will be renamed in consultation with the community in coming months to reflect these changes to the service.

The decision to co-locate Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre aligns with recent feedback and requests from service users and will importantly improve efficiencies by reducing overhead costs such as utilities. The move is also a key priority within Council’s Children’s Services Strategic Plan.

Council’s Manager Community Connections, Kristina Brenner, said in working under a finite budget it is our absolute priority that funding is allocated wherever possible to directly supporting the children and their families.

“There is no doubt in our mind that a successful merger will enable this to happen more effectively and having recently received a capital works grant, we are planning on increasing the licenced capacity of the co-located service by building a third room,” Ms Brenner said.

“Council has operated all four of its Children’s Services (Bandara in Bega and the Sapphire Mobile Preschool as well) for more than 10 years, having taken them on to ensure the community wasn’t without a preschool or childcare centre and we remain unwavering in this commitment.

“It is important that as we transition into these new arrangements, our families and children feel supported and understand that we will assist them in any way we can,” Ms Brenner said.

Information sessions will be held in Term 3, with current and potential service users of the preschool and long day care programs welcome to attend. These information sessions will also include consultation about the naming of the new Centre.

Fact sheets about the changes will be provided to parents of Eden Childcare Centre and Eden Preschool. They will also be available on Council’s website at www.begavalley.nsw.gov.au/children.

For more information, contact your current service.

Photograph: Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre will merge and be co-located from January 2019.

END


Background

Early childhood education in Eden is set for a significant change, with Council to co-locate Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre from January 2019.

The merged entity will operate from the Eden Childcare Centre facility in Bimmil Street, with Council to investigate options for the best utilisation of the current Preschool site.

The newly merged early learning service will include both long day care and preschool programs, similar to Council’s successful multipurpose Bega service, Bandara Children’s Services.

Eden Childcare Centre will be renamed in consultation with the community in coming months to reflect these changes to the service.

The decision to co-locate Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre aligns with recent feedback and requests from service users and will importantly improve efficiencies by reducing overhead costs such as utilities. The move is also a key priority within Council’s Children’s Services Strategic Plan.

Your Questions answered

Why is this change happening?

The co-location of Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare is a key priority within the Children’s Services Action Plan.

The operation of two services in separate sites creates inefficiencies in the use of resources, space and staffing. Co-location will offer more efficient services, more stability in staffing, and a larger and more vibrant early learning environment for children of all ages.

When will the changes start?

The co-location of Eden Preschool and Eden Childcare Centre will occur from January 2019.

What exactly are the changes?

Any families wishing to enrol their child at Eden Preschool will still be able to apply for places as per the usual application process.

If the child is accepted, they will begin using preschool services at the newly merged site at 2A Bimmil St, Eden.

Enrolments for 2019 will commence in coming months.

So what won’t change?

There will still be 20 preschool places available for families wishing to use Eden Preschool’s program, though the program will operate at a different site next year.

There will be no changes to Eden Childcare Centre’s staffing, location, or long day care programs.

What will happen with the current Preschool site?

The preschool site will remain a Council asset and a decision about its future use will be made by Council following the merger.

Will people lose their jobs in the merger?

The staff working at Eden Preschool are permanent staff of Eden Childcare Centre who have been seconded to the preschool. When the merger occurs, these staff members will continue in their permanent roles in the newly merged centre.

Any potential future staffing changes will be based solely on funding and utilisation requirements, and would be unrelated to the planned merger.

I heard the services are losing money - will they be closing?

Utilisation rates at Eden Preschool and particularly Eden Childcare Centre have been declining for several years. However, Council remains committed to ensuring that families in Eden have access to a range of early learning opportunities for their children.

The newly merged service in Eden will offer preschool and long day care programs in the same manner as Council’s Bandara Children’s Services, based in Bega. This is a successful service model that provides parents with choice and convenience in service delivery.

Can I speak to someone?

Families wishing to find out more about the new arrangements can contact the Children’s Services Business Support Officer on 6499 2118.

Where can I get additional information?

Information sessions will be held in Term 3, with current and potential service users of preschool and long day care programs welcome to attend. These information sessions will also include consultation about the naming of the new Centre.

 

For enquiries about enrolments, families can contact the Children’s Services Business Support Officer on 6499 2118.

 


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