Updated: Jun 10, 2021
SOME Boort mothers are concerned they will struggle to retain professional accreditation while the region remains without family day care providers.
Midwife Anna Balzer and secondary school teacher Lacey Verley are in the Loddon’s cohort of mothers faced with few care options for their children.
Lacey says she had been fortunate to date with some flexibility in working up the minimum 20 years needed in a year to keep her English teacher accreditation.
But Anna, who works in Bendigo Health’s MAMTA midwifery team, faces resigning from what she describes as her dream job unless care options can be accessed for daughter Maggie.
Anne and Lacey are part of the town’s playground that meets on Friday mornings - children from 20 families in the district.
“There’s been a baby boom around Boort the last few years and we’re not sure if the local kindergarten will have the capacity for an influx of children in the future,” Lacey said.
“I am a secondary teacher and am required to teach 20 days per year in order to maintain my registration. I have been fortunate enough to obtain casual teaching days at my local school.
“However, I am very limited in the number of days I can accept since I have no childcare for my daughter.
“I am lucky that my partner Alister is able to take Violet (17 months) with him on the farm on some of these days but there are many families who do not have such flexibility.”
Alister says the child care dil-emma is more challenging at peak times of harvest and sowing. “We’re working seven days a week at those times.”
Lacey said: “I have two sisters-in-law who live in Bendigo. Their children attend childcare so that both parents have the opportunity to work, earn extra income, and further develop their careers. Child care is taken for granted in the city and so it should be.”
Anna, who had planned to return to the MAMTA team, is faced with only being able to take casual shifts. “We love the lifestyle here but there are lots of people who need help,”
A petition to State Parliament to provide child care in Loddon communities. has been launched by MPs Louise Staley and Peter Walsh.
The State Government says child care is a federal responsibility. Some Loddon families are travelling to St Arnaud, Wycheproof or Kerang for child care.
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