Bayswater residents join call for State Govt to reverse cuts to childcare


East Metro MLC Amber-Jade Sanderson, Noranda Child Care Centre’s Maria Stella and Labor community services spokeswoman Simone McGurk.
East Metro MLC Amber-Jade Sanderson, Noranda Child Care Centre’s Maria Stella and Labor community services spokeswoman Simone McGurk.

BAYSWATER residents joined childcare and neighbourhood centres across Perth at Parliament yesterday to call on the State Government to reverse its decision to cut accommodation support.

Salisbury Child Care Centre, Noranda Child Care Centre, Bayswater Family Centre and Sudbury Community House are among 33 childcare and 24 neighbourhood centres set to be impacted by cuts to property management and maintenance services.

Labor community services spokeswoman Simone McGurk called on the Government to reverse its decision and enable those centres to continue their important work.

“I’ve spoken to countless parents who are genuinely worried about the future of their local child care and neighbourhood centre,” she said.

East Metro MLC Amber-Jade Sanderson said the cuts equalled about $1.4 million per year and that would mean a “budget black hole” for 33 centres, some of which have waiting lists of up to two years.

“Dozens of local families depend on the Noranda Child Care Centre; these cuts will mean families who are already struggling will be asked to foot the bill,” she said.

However, Treasurer Mike Nahan said a community and neighbourhood development program is offered at 54 sites, with 32 at buildings provided by the Department of Local Government and Communities.

He said the $6.5 million currently provided would not change, so the major source of assistance would continue.

Dr Nahan said the arrangements at the centres varied and they had not been well managed for years.

He said in the long term those 32 centres should be responsible for their own building insurance and putting aside funds for major maintenance.

Bayswater Child Care Association chairman Mike Anderton said there was no mismanagement at the centres.

“We have two very successful centres (Noranda and Salisbury) travelling at 100 per cent occupancy,” he said.

Mr Anderton said the board, staff and parents were concerned the cuts would affect the day-to-day operation of centres.

“We’re still in limbo,” he said.