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