Centre seeks more children

Julie Adams (Rostrata Family Centre) and Pam Ellis-Kane (Executive Manager Children and Family Services with Communicare).
Julie Adams (Rostrata Family Centre) and Pam Ellis-Kane (Executive Manager Children and Family Services with Communicare).

Communicare provides out of school hours care (OSHC) at Rostrata Family Centre in Willetton and the Riverton OSHC Centre.

Communicare chief executive Martine Pitt said the centres were licensed for 39 children, but spaces were unfilled.

‘The Communicare OSHC program currently has 10 and 15 children for the morning sessions and between 20 to 25 children for the afternoon session,’ Ms Pitt said.

‘We noticed that vacancies existed over the past three years since local primary schools engaged corporate childcare agencies to set up OSHC service at schools.’

Communicare OSHC provides afternoon tea and a free bus service to collect and deliver children to and from local primary schools.

Ms Pitt said she had seen a slight drop in demand.

‘Families can now adjust their work hours to accommodate their school-age children and older children (in years 6 and 7) prefer to walk home after school,’ she said.

Ms Pitt said a few years ago there were discussions to operate OSHC at Willetton Primary School when the Year 7s moved off the premises because there would be spare classrooms.

But Ms Pitt said there was a lack of school facilities at that time.

‘Communicare would be happy to run a OSHC program at Willetton Primary School if the school is still interested in going down this path,’ she said.

Willetton Primary School principal John Chapman said families with children at Willetton Primary School already had access to OHSC providers.

He said teachers were using every classroom for lessons and there was no free space to use for other purposes.

There are 577 students from Kindergarten to Year 7 enrolled at the school.

Camp Australia has partnered with Rostrata Primary School in Willetton to offer OSHC.

Camp Australia spokesman Andrew Kent said demand was increasing, but the centre planned ahead for extra capacity so there was never a waiting list.

The City of Canning has approved two childcare centres and 42 family day care centres in the past five years.