Children’s places needed

Construction has begun on a new Derrick Ernst Neighbourhood Centre at the old West Morley Pre-Primary School site, set to be opened in July.

The lease on the centre’s current home at Morley Galleria will run out at the end of April, understood to make way for a German discount supermarket chain store Aldi.

Association chairman Mike Anderton said finding placements for 24 infants currently looked after at the centre was their biggest concern.

“We’ve surveyed our parents to find out what their preferences were; do they want us to look at particular childcare centres for placement for the shortfall,” Mr Anderton said.

“The difficulty we have is with the infants; the department is very strict on the amount and type of space that has to be provided for infants.”

Mr Anderton said staff would be “looked after” over the period and had negotiations with other centres to discuss the children’s temporary placements.

He said they had not been contacted by the Galleria but would have “no hesitation” to have further talks to extend the lease period.

Mayor Barry McKenna said the shell of the former pre-primary was being kept, while the interior was being “extensively” re-modelled.

“An extension to the current building is being added to provide the room and facilities needed by a modern child care and community facility,” Cr McKenna said.

“The Bayswater Child Care Association is working with parents and community groups to accommodate their needs for child care services during this transition period, May 1 to June 30.”

At the same Galleria site, Morley Library is on track to relocate into the Les Hansman Community Centre by the end of May, with building works underway. The library will close temporarily.