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CSSU C H I L D R E N ' S S E R V I C E S S U P P O R T U N I T W A ( I N C )

CHILDCARE IN THE SHIRE OF ROEBOURNE

Introduction / Background: In 2001 CSSU undertook a Feasibility Study to investigate "Alternative Management Models for the CommunityBased Childcare Services in the Pilbara Region". CSSU was approached by the community based management committee of Dampier Karratha Children's Services (DKCS) to take on management responsibilities of four centres. In 2004, due to a shortage of childcare in Karratha, the Shire of Roebourne Childcare Steering Group was established. CSSU was on this committee. It was decided to extend a centre (Millars Well) from 38 to 100 places. Before: Community Based Childcare Centre: When CSSU took over management of the DKCS the long day care centres were operating under licensing exemptions due to the need for major renovations impacting on the safety and welfare of the children and failure to meet other licensing requirements. The DKCS had worked tirelessly, with limited resources and support for many years. Their commitment to childcare in the region extended to realising that an alternative management model was necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for the children. After: CSSU Management: CSSU used their not-for-profit status to submit for $358,117 to upgrade the buildings. Centres no longer operated under licensing exemptions. To avoid closing down Millars Well (due to renovations), CSSU negotiated with the Karratha Family Centre to accommodate the children absorbing the rental costs and paid $39,666 for upgrades to meet licensing requirements. During this time Millars Well is operating under exemptions. In 2008 CSSU undertook research into the childcare needs in the region and proposed a model of childcare for Millars Well that would significantly contribute to the community's childcare solutions into the future. A Feasibility Plan was presented to the Shire of Roebourne. The cost of living, in particular housing, is a barrier in attracting childcare workers to the Pilbara. CSSU is working with the Shire and mining companies to be able to provide subsidised housing to childcare workers and to offer them other incentives. About Karratha Karratha is located 1557 km north of Perth, on Nickol Bay, and caters for mine workers and support workers to the mining and service industries in the Pilbara. Today it is home to over 7000 people. It is planned that the town will eventually house over 30 000 people. The cost of housing is a barrier, as is the lack of services, such as childcare, to meet the rapid growth of the community. Inflated prices and the inability of service industries to compete with mining wages have impacted on sustainability for the childcare industry. CSSU is working and partnering with business and the community to find solutions.

Staff and children at our services in Karratha.

SERVING THE CHILDCARE INDUSTRY SINCE 1973

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