Day care closes
Family service ends after four decades
NEW Norfolk’s original day care service has come to an end after more than four decades.
Carers previously registered with New Norfolk Family Day Care have switched en mass to alternative services after the Derwent Valley Council increased its administration fees in the draft council budget 2018-19.
Derwent Valley Council corporate and community services executive manager Mark Eady said the proposed fee increase was due to changes in minimum standards deter- mined in Federal Government legislation.
“With the projected ratio of one full-time co-ordinator to a small number of educators, local family day care educators [would have seen] cost inflation to their fees,” Mr Eady said.
Parent educator Rae Kertesz-Kovacic said the changes made Family Day Care unviable for carers to continue with the scheme.
New Norfolk Family Day Care was founded in 1977 by former nurse Carol Volant, who worked at the centre for 38 years.
Mrs Volant was initially employed under a government grant to spend six months surveying the child care needs of the region.
“I had a number of forums and spoke to different people in the area and from there it just became obvious there were a number of parents that required child care,” Mrs Volant said.
She said she was sad Family Day Care had to end, but was sure families would receive the same quality of service through new providers.
New Norfolk’s parent educators have signed on with alternative service providers including Mission Australia, and Kingborough Family Day Care.
Mrs Kertesz-Kovacic worked for Family Day Care for 14 years and her mother, sister and niece also worked for the service.
“It’s something that we have a strong history with and something that we believe in and think is a valuable part of child care,” she said.
“We work off the same framework as kindergarten teachers and we do weekends, late nights and school runs — it’s a unique quality of care.”
Mrs Kertesz-Kovacic said parents were concerned after hearing Family Day Care would close.
“A lot of them are working parents who don’t work 9am-5pm jobs and have circumstances where they need kindergarten collections, 5am starts and overnight cares,” she said. “The main thing is to make sure the parents realise that from Glenora to Austins Ferry and from Molesworth to Dromedary we’re still within the community.”
Parent educator Lisa Rhodes said New Norfolk had not lost any of its parent educators in the transition and nothing would change for parents.
“We are moving onwards and upwards and we are with an established scheme now,” she said.
Mr Eady said the families and staff at the Long Day Care Centre at 45 Ring Rd, New Norfolk, will not be affected by the proposed fee increase.