City of Vincent fights for Leederville Early Childhood Centre

City of Vincent fights for Leederville Early Childhood Centre

STATE Government plans to withdraw subsidised accommodation for Leederville Early Childhood Centre break the conditions of its lease, according to the City of Vincent.

The centre is one of several childcare centres set to lose subsidised accommodation under a plan announced by the Government in June.

Vincent Mayor John Carey said he found it “extraordinary that the State Government wants to make these cuts to save $1.4 million across the sector”.

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“I went to a parent forum with about 40 parents and there is a deep concern,” he said.

Vincent councillors voted to endorse the City’s advice to the Department of Local Government and Communities that “the Department’s proposal is contrary to the provisions contained in the lease for the Leederville Early Childhood Centre”, and to advise Minister Paul Miles that the City “rejects the Department of Local Government and Communities’ proposal to withdraw from the lease”.

The council noted that the option (of the State Government’s withdrawal) “is not in compliance with the lease between the City and Department for the… centre” and “the original development of the centre undertaken by the Department was based on the understanding that the City would not have to commit any funds to the establishment and ongoing operations of the facility”.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Local Government said “it is not appropriate for the department, as the child care regulator, to also own or lease property in which child care services are offered”.

“Under the terms of the Leederville Early Childhood Centre’s lease, which expires in 2024, the department is responsible for repairs, maintenance and capital works. These were the conditions established in 1993 when the centre was constructed with Federal and State government funding,” she said.

“The department is engaging with all stakeholders to identify transition options that represent the least risk to the community and the families using the centre. The department will negotiate the transition maintenance with all stakeholders to minimise the property risks to the Leederville Early Childhood Centre and the City of Vincent.”