Treasurer Nahan pushes responsibility back on centres after childcare cuts

Treasurer Mike Nahan.
Treasurer Mike Nahan.

TREASURER Mike Nahan has put some responsibility back on the community-based childcare and neighbourhood centres that are set to be impacted by the loss of accommodation funding.

Labor MP Simone McGurk presented a grievance in Parliament about the community-based childcare and neighbourhood centres loss of accommodation funding.

Three centres in the City of Canning will be affected from June 2018 including the Willetton Community Child Care Centre, Rostrata Family Centre and Treasure Island Child Care Centre.

Ms McGurk called on the Government to reverse its decision to cut accommodation support to these centres and enable those centres to continue their important work.

Dr Nahan, quoted in unconfirmed minutes from Parliament, said 33 of 310 neighbourhood centres in WA operated as State Government-managed properties.

He said the issue was changes to property management, specifically insurance, or the major capital works program under it.

“The department has advised that there are 310 community childcare centres, and the department provides a service to 32 centres,” he said.

“In the long term, those 32 centres are to be responsible for their own building insurance, as are the other 270.

“They should also be putting aside funds for major maintenance. These centres would also be eligible for Lotterywest funding.”

Also speaking in Parliament, Ms McGurk said 32 childcare centres and 33 neighbourhood centres would be impacted.

“In the case of childcare centres, the withdrawal of support threatens to push up prices or result in their closure,” she said.

“In the case of neighbourhood centres, the withdrawal of support puts them and the services they provide at risk of closure, which will make local communities worse off.”

City of Canning is home to 20 childcare centres and 41 family day care centres.

It deals with two childcare centre leases through the Department of Local Government and Community (DLGC) – for Willetton and Rostrata – and a spokesman confirmed the Council had been notified of a funding discontinuation.

“The City has received advice from the DLGC of their intention to discontinue their leases on Willetton Community Child Care Centre and the Rostrata Family Centre from 30 June 2018,” he said.

“The City will liaise with the current occupiers directly in relation to their possible continued occupancy of the facilities; however, no formal negotiations have taken place at this time.

“The City will be meeting with representatives of the DLGC in the coming weeks to discuss the circumstance of the change in Government Policy.”