Future of child care centre uncertain

The future of Warilla Child Care Centre will be up for discussion at the next council meeting. Follow changes to the lease agreement with NSW Housing. Picture Eliza Winkler

The future of Warilla Child Care Centre will be up for discussion at the next council meeting. Follow changes to the lease agreement with NSW Housing. Picture Eliza Winkler

COUNCIL will consider the future operations of the Warilla Child Care Centre in Ordinary meeting next Tuesday, July 1.  

Shellharbour City Council will consider a report to make a decision about the future operations of its child care facility. The report outlines the growing financial costs of running centre, which was opened to service the community in 1976 .

The current lease arrangement with NSW Housing property expires this December and an independent rent appraisal for the site has reported a cost of $40,000 per year. This would increase the running costs to up to $200,000 for the 2015/16 year.

Director Corporate Policy, Lee Furness said there were a number of issues to consider in the future operation of the child care centre. 

‘‘The building is ageing and needs major structural repairs within the next five years as well as a lot of ongoing maintenance to ensure it is at the standard required to accommodate child care services,’’ Ms Furness said.

‘‘The market place for child care providers has evolved significantly during the past 40 years and now provides a range of services to the Shellharbour community at competitive rates.’’

The centre accommodates up to 39 children per day, with 73 children aged 0-5 years registered to use the facility until the end of the year. The service also employs six qualified child care staff and up to 10 staff.

‘‘To make sure there is a healthy provision of child care services for the community, we currently assist three (not for profit) long day care centres to operate from council-owned buildings at reduced rates," she said.

‘‘Staff are aware of the rationale behind the recommendation and we will work with them to reduce the impact of any decision of Council, with every consideration given to their needs.’’ 

The council will be presented with three options that include negotiating the renewal of the lease, building another facility to operate or close the centre if another provider cannot be found to operate the centre, independent of Council.

The report will go to the council for the meeting to be held on Tuesday, July 1 at the Shellharbour City Council Chambers on the Ground Floor of Lamerton House, Shellharbour City Centre. 

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