Frus­trated mums in call for child care

Claims lack of ser­vice is tak­ing a toll

Daily Mercury - - NEWS - ASH­LEY PILLHOFER Ash­ley.Pillhofer@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

MOTH­ERS are at their wits end in Collinsville as the com­mu­nity strug­gles to cope with a lack of child­care ser­vices in the iso­lated town.

Lo­cal mums claim the ab­sence of child care is im­pact­ing on the town with busi­nesses los­ing staff, fam­i­lies re­lo­cat­ing or be­ing forced to stretch a sin­gle in­come.

They also claim the lack of a ser­vice is hav­ing an af­fect on the men­tal health of some, des­per­ately want­ing to re­turn to work.

Nicola Grieger is one mum push­ing for more child­care ser­vices in the re­gion, a ser­vice she be­lieves is vi­tal.

“There were two home day­cares, but the one my daugh­ter was in shut down last month and the other one is clos­ing down very shortly,” she said.

Even when both were oper­a­tional com­bined they could only cater for a max­i­mum of eight chil­dren.

Af­ter her first child, Miss Grieger was forced to leave her ca­reer in real es­tate. She said that be­ing un­able to ac­cess child­care has put a strain on her fam­ily.

Miss Grieger be­lieves not hav­ing child care is also hav­ing an im­pact on the chil­dren.

“They don’t get to learn and play from other chil­dren,” she said.

“Chil­dren thrive off each other, they also thrive off an adult they can trust other than their par­ent.”

Sa­man­tha Cur­ley is in the same boat hav­ing put her job and univer­sity de­gree on hold, say­ing she feels dis­con­nected from the com­mu­nity.

“There is a lot of neg­a­tiv­ity from moth­ers,” she said.

“Peo­ple are at the point that they .... re­sign [them­selves] to the fact they they will not have a ca­reer for the next 20 years.

“I’d love to go back to work. I miss work, I miss serv­ing the com­mu­nity.”

She said a lack of ser­vices, in­clud­ing heath ser­vices was also driv­ing fam­i­lies away from the area. At the mo­ment, both women agree the so­lu­tion is a com­mu­nity-run child­care cen­tre which would op­er­ate a full­time 12-hour ser­vice.

Ms Cur­ley said the prin­ci­pal and P&C of Collinsville State School have made an of­fer to do­nate an old school build­ing to the cause, but hav­ing a build­ing does not en­tirely solve the is­sue.

Ac­cord­ing to Bur­dikin MP Dale Last the is­sue is af­fect­ing a num­ber of re­gional min­ing cen­tres.

Photo: Con­tributed

ES­SEN­TIAL: Nicola Grieger with her daugh­ter El­lie. Miss Grieger thinks a child­care ser­vice in Collinsville is vi­tal.

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