Parents of young children will be all too aware of the problem we have getting access to child care in Hedland. When we last spoke to you about child care we were undertaking work to better understand what the issues were around child care in the Town.
Since then we have developed a deeper understand of the issues. These statistics provide a snapshot of the issues we face:
- The total number of child care places in Port Hedland now is 318
- There is significant demand, estimated at between 345 and 373 places in addition to the existing supply
- Despite demand being highest for the 0-2 age group, this cohort has the least number of places available in long day care centres
- Attraction of qualified educators is a key issue as an additional 69 educators are needed
Private day care has typically not thrived in Hedland as expenses associated with running a centre (rent and ongoing costs, etc.) are higher than in many other locations, making it difficult for centres to be financially viable. This means additional day care facilities will most likely need to be funded, at least partially, by government grants and other organisations.
The Hedland Collective has been working with child care providers to form a long-term strategy to ensure that everyone can get child care when they need it. We are working with child care providers to examine recommendations from two consultants on access to child care in Hedland and are keen to see which ones can give us some ‘quick wins’.
We will report back soon with some of the things that will be changing so stay tuned! As always if you have any questions or would like to know more about our work, don’t hesitate to get in contact.