Child­care cen­tre to pull out of town

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

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.

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