Desperate Port Fairy families look to city for childcare places

NEARLY sixty families in Port Fairy are waiting for childcare places after the closure of a private operator last year.

Around 62 children from 58 families are on Moyne Shire’s childcare waiting list for a place at the Port Fairy Community Services Centre.

Moyne Shire director of community and corporate support Dean Robertson said it was unclear who would cater for the demand.

“Childcare in Port Fairy has been an issue for the Moyne Shire since the closure of a privately-operated childcare facility last year,” Mr Robertson said. 

“The demand has exceeded what we can cater for.”

He said the majority of those on the waiting list were trying to enter into the service at the Community Services Centre, while a smaller number were trying to add more days. 

The list had been as high as 108 children at the end of 2013. 

More parents are now looking towards Warrnambool.

Out of city council’s 160 long day childcare places, around 13 per cent are used by families residing in the Moyne Shire.  However, several new childcare centres planned for Warrnambool could reduce the number in Moyne.

“That’s one of the options that could certainly help,” Mr Robertson said. 

Per day, Moyne’s Port Fairy service has enough space for 12 children between aged from new-born to three  years and 23 children between three and five. 

Parents pay $75 per day but a government rebate covers 50 per cent of the cost, Mr Robertson said. 

Meanwhile, he said Moyne Shire was forming a strategic direction on how to handle childcare in the shire. Mayor James Purcell urged the public to provide feedback for the municipal early years plan. 

“We not only want to hear from families that use services, but also from community members and organisations that provide those services,” he said. 

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