Cen­tre brings re­lief

Pilbara News - - News - ■ Ali­cia Perera

Dampier’s new child­care cen­tre opened its doors last week, only three weeks af­ter the pre­vi­ous cen­tre left town.

The Montes­sori Early Years Learn­ing and Care Cen­tre opened with eight young charges and ca­pac­ity for an­other eight on March 8 at its tem­po­rary lo­ca­tion of 11 Roe Street, Dampier.

It comes af­ter Dampier went from hav­ing two child­care cen­tres to none in the past sev­eral months.

CSSU Dampier Early Learn­ing Cen­tre closed in De­cem­ber, and in late Jan­uary Pil­bara Prepara­tory an­nounced it would be leav­ing Dampier weeks af­ter school started.

MEYLCC di­rec­tor Jen­nifer Fox said she felt for lo­cal par­ents who had been left with­out child­care op­tions.

“I’d worked here pre­vi­ously with CSSU (as di­rec­tor) and I’d got­ten to know a lot of fam­i­lies in the com­mu­nity quite well,” she said. “So when this op­por­tu­nity arose I thought ‘ what bet­ter place’?

“It keeps things a lot more per­sonal be­cause I’ve been able to start this busi­ness hav­ing al­ready built those re­la­tion­ships.”

Ms Fox said this was the first Montes­sori child care in the Pil­bara and would of­fer a dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment from most nearby cen­tres.

She said she was “ec­static” about mov­ing into the Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub when it is fin­ished and hav­ing ca­pac­ity for up to 70 chil­dren.

“I think that it’s been re­ally ideal for us to start off small, be­cause that way we’re able to have those close-knit re­la­tion­ships with the chil­dren and fam­i­lies and staff,” she said.

“And then we can take off into a larger cen­tre.”

The City of Kar­ratha and Dampier Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion or­gan­ised the fast turn­around for a new provider af­ter Pil­bara Prepara­tory’s de­par­ture.

Dampier Com­mu­nity As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Sharon Ver­ti­gan said par­ents were re­lieved to have a new cen­tre and had been mak­ing do with each other’s as­sis­tance un­til now.

Pic­ture: Ali­cia Perera

Montes­sori Early Years Learn­ing and Care Cen­tre staff and chil­dren out­side the new Dampier cen­tre on their first day of busi­ness last week.

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