Child care in jeopardy
A SUBIACO non-profit childcare centre for atrisk children could be forced to close under a State Government plan to end leases with childcare providers.
Subicare Child Care Centre, which leases premises from the Department of Local Government and Communities, will have to increase fees under the changes or risk closure.
The changes, which come into effect from June 2018, would affect services currently provided to more than 120 families at the centre.
Subicare director Lindsay Poggenpoel said the centre was established in the 1980s under a government provision to create affordable community-based childcare in Subiaco.
Ms Poggenpoel said the centre was in the process of meeting key decision-makers and stakeholders, but was concerned about the future of Subicare.
“It would likely mean Subicare would have to pay commercial rent and be responsible for all maintenance costs for the building,” she said.
“We are a not-for-profit providing an essential community service. This would impact all our families as we would have to significantly increase our fees to cover the increased operating costs.”
Community Services Minister Tony Simpson said it was not appropriate for the Government, as the childcare regulator, to also own or lease property where childcare services were offered.
“Evidence suggests that these arrangements do not result in savings being passed on to families in the form of lower fees and families are paying similar fees to centres which are not operating from properties managed by the Department,” he said.
“These changes will provide an equal playing field across all child care services.”
Subicare director Lindsay Poggenpoel with Milie Benedit (4), Lola Benedit (2) and Farieda Zeitoun (4).