• Loddon Herald

Key child care talks

UPDATE LATEST: A public meeting will be held at Wedderburn College on Sunday, May 23, at 10am.

DISCUSSIONS have started with key stakeholders on the Loddon’s child care crisis.

Wedderburn College principal Danny Forrest has held talks with several stakeholders over the past week.

And Bendigo Community Health Services has called for more home-based educators to help ease the child care crisis in Loddon communities.

“We have been watching with interest the concerns from the Wedderburn community around the lack of child care available,” its Family Day Care team manager Terrie Killen said.

“Our Family Day Care team has helped provide registered home-based child care for the Wedderburn community since 1993 after passionate community members approached Bendigo Community Health Services for support.

“We understand the pressures and concerns. We have one educator working in Wedderburn five days per week for school-aged and pre-school children and they are fully booked. Unfortunately, we recently said goodbye to our other Wedderburn educator who moved interstate and this has impacted on the available vacancies in the area.

“The opportunity is there to build our service to support more families in the Wedderburn area but we need people willing to open their homes as child care educators for this to happen.”

Ms Killen said the FDC team would work with any potential child care educators to ensure they and their homes become accredited.

“New national laws and regulations mean all child care educators must be qualified with a minimum of Certificate III in Early Childhood. Sadly many educators chose to leave the childcare industry for good when these new regulations were introduced and the impact has been particularly felt in rural areas,” Ms Killen said.

Mr Forrest said: “We want to keep the momentum in addressing the absence of child care in the region. Talks to date have focused on where to next in finding a workable answer.”

The Loddon Herald last week reported the lack of local child care and the impact on schools, businesses and families.

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