KINDER enrolments for 2015 have now opened, with many eager kids and parents taking the opportunity to visit Warrnambool’s kindergartens during open days yesterday.
Numbers for next year are expected to be slightly up on 2014, with about 460 children enrolled this year.
City Kinder teacher Sarah McPhail said the centre had seen slightly more interest compared to previous years.
“We were busy with visitors in the morning and saw lots of people coming through throughout the day,” Ms McPhail said.
Youngsters had the opportunity to play outside and showcase their best drawing skills.
Molly Sheen, 3, said she was most excited about starting kinder for all the drawings and craft activities you could do.
Despite an increase in enrolments, there had been a fall in demand for after-kinder care, Ms McPhail said.
“We didn’t have as much demand last year, so City Kinder does not offer an after-kinder care service,” she said.
Of the 10 kindergartens Warrnambool City Council operates, only three will offer after-kinder care in 2015 — South, East and Central kindergartens, where demand has been highest.
WCC’s early years learning and development manager Tina McLeod put the decrease in demand down to extended hours, with kinders now open until 2.30pm rather than 1.30pm.
“I also think not everyone finishes (work) at 6pm. Lots of people finish around school time so for some it’s just an hour they’re looking for care, so they are able to manage that within their own families and friends,” Ms McLeod said.
Many people were sharing and looking after other people’s kids, or getting grandparents to help.
Ms McLeod said if demand for after-kinder care returned this year, services could be reintroduced.