Childcare centre to pull out of town
The Dampier community was dealt a blow last week when the town’s only childcare centre announced it was to close.
Pilbara Preparatory, the service provider of Dampier Early Learning Centre, recently informed clients it would close next month because of a non-viable marketplace in the town. The company said its Karratha centre would stay open.
Dampier playgroup president Fleur Diamond said parents who relied on local child care were now at a loose end.
“The impression that I have received is that it is devastating news and a very stressful time for families,” she said.
“As a private business it is their right to close shop, however, it does put many families in a very diffi- cult situation.” Dampier Community Association president Sharon Vertigan, also a kindergarten teacher, said the loss of the centre would have a big impact.
“There is a need for a child care in Dampier,” she said.
“The before-school and afterschool care was a bonus and was well used.
“The DCA is sad to see the loss of another service in Dampier.” The City of Karratha said it, together with the DCA, was investigating the possibility of finding another childcare service provider for the town soon.
The closure complicates plans for the Dampier Community Hub, scheduled to be completed in April.
Dampier Early Learning Centre is on the Dampier Primary School campus, but was set to lease a space in the hub. Mrs Vertigan said the building would still be “quite full” but the departure of the childcare centre left one empty space.
Mrs Vertigan and Ms Diamond said demand for child care in Dampier was high and they hoped another provider would be found.
Pilbara Preparatory director Lynda Lewis confirmed the company was leaving the Dampier centre, but declined to comment further.