Work to create sustainable early childhood care and education services in the Wheatbelt will be greatly enhanced thanks to Royalties for Regions investment into the child care sector in regional WA.
Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA said the Shire of Brookton was one of 10 organisations to receive grants totalling $395,320 through the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund.
A total of $135,000 is to be provided for phase two of the Wheatbelt Early Childhood Education and Care Regional Governance Model Project.
“This builds on the consultation and work already started. The sector in the Wheatbelt agrees there are issues with sustainability and has a plan to address it,” Ms Davies said.
“I have attended a number of workshops and took the time when in Tasmania last year to visit the Lady Gowrie Centre, a model that is being considered by the group.”
The funding will allow the further investigation of the financial and operational capacity of individual services in the Wheatbelt.
“Our childcare services are run by hardworking voluntary committees and they are suffering burnout under the pressure of increased regulatory burden and the challenge of attracting and retaining qualified staff,” Ms Davies said.
“The model being investigated aims to reduce this pressure to allow committee members to remain at a strategic level rather than delving into the complex and highly regulated operational space.
“They do this because they understand how important the service is for the community, but it is simply not sustainable in the long-term.”
Royalties for Regions has invested $9.3 million to the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund over four years, which provides funding for operational and strategic projects to support child care services across regional WA.
“Royalties for Regions will continue to invest in a range of key community services to support a better quality of life in regional WA, enabling regions to grow and contribute to strong economies,” Ms Davies said.