Drop in numbers at Macarthur kindergarten forces temporary closure

A KINDERGARTEN service for four-year-olds in Macarthur will shut down in 2017 due to a lack of enrolments.

However there is interest in running a kindergarten services for three-year-olds in the town, with potentially five enrolments.

Moyne Shire councillors agreed there was no choice but to close the four-year-old kinder for a year.

Cr Colin Ryan said Macarthur was like a lot of small towns in the shire in that its “population ebbs and flows”.

“It’s very important we still support the township by supporting the three-year-old kinder,” Cr Ryan said.

Moyne Shire councillor Colin Ryan.

Moyne Shire councillor Colin Ryan.

Cr Ian Smith said it was “very important … to keep the facility alive".

In 2015 there were 16 enrolments at four-year-old kinder in Macarthur. This year there were five.

Across the shire there were 167 four-year-old kinder enrolments. That number is expected to drop to 140 next year. A report to council noted that in 2015 there were 259 kinder-age kids living in Moyne Shire, however 59 of those children went to kinder in other municipalities, with 10 attending in Corangamite, three in Southern Grampians, and 46 in Warrnambool.