Port Fairy mums push for more child care room

A SMALL army of mothers and their young children have presented their case for more childcare options in Port Fairy.

The public gallery at Moyne Shire Council’s August meeting on Tuesday was filled with members of the Port Fairy Childcare Action group as the next stage of their campaign ramps up.

Councillors agreed to go ahead with further research into creating more childcare spaces in the town.

The move comes in response to a detailed proposal the group presented to council in June.

It is pushing for the council to convert its main meeting room at the town’s community services centre into a kindergarten space.

This would allow the other rooms which host kindergarten classes to become extra childcare spaces.

The shire had 62 children on its waiting list for childcare placements in May. The proposal would create an additional 16 places.

On Tuesday night councillors congratulated the group for its pro-active approach in trying to find a solution to the childcare service.

Council officers will now take a closer look into the implications of making space available at the centre.

High on the list will be the financial impact it may have on ratepayers. Council would also not be able to access the room for meetings and workshops and it would no longer be available for community groups who use it an average of twice a week.

Group member Lucy Marshall said while the group has been told a final decision on the possible conversion of the meeting room may not be until October, the ongoing discussions were a positive sign.

“This is a big decision and we realise council have to fully investigate the implications of any changes,” Ms Marshall said.

“There is a process they have to go through and we have been very impressed so far with the effort they have put into working with us on this.

“They have been able to answer a lot of our questions and I think we are moving closer towards our goal.

“It was great to have so many parents and children here at the meeting. I think it showed how important this issue is to a wide cross section of families in Port Fairy.”

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