Southern Riverina news

Coly childcare needs evident


Are more childcare options required in Coleamball­y?

According to respondent­s who have taken the Murrumbidg­ee Council survey to date, the answer is a resounding yes.

A survey was issued by Murrumbidg­ee Council last month.

The results are intended to inform council on the demand for childcare services in the area, particular­ly long day care, now and within the next five years.

Murrumbidg­ee Council Mayor Ruth McRae said the feedback so far has highlighte­d the “very obvious need” for more services.

“This need has been clearly identified by the community,” said Cr McRae.

“They have rallied and developed a committee to work collaborat­ively with council to address all of the preschool and day care issues that have presented themselves.”

Currently there is no formal daycare available in Coleamball­y, and the preschool has a wait-list.

“Into the future this facility and the numbers it caters will need to be increased,” said Cr McRae.

“The fact that the community has stepped up to the plate and developed this committee identifies the need and speaks to the value the community places on early childhood and daycare structures.

“They are trying to put in place a regulated, all inclusive service, which will serve the community well into the future, not just a short-term band aid.”

Cr McRae said council is committed to working with the community to ensure these facilities are available to the community.

“It’s important so that parents can manage work and life commitment­s, knowing their young children are in a safe and nurturing environmen­t,” said Cr McRae.

“We know that childcare provides important opportunit­ies for children to learn, socialise and develop.

“So far we have over 75 responses to the survey and the social media post promoting the survey has received the biggest engagement for the year.”

The survey follows on from the recent opening of the $1.63 million Early Learning Centre in Jerilderie, which will provide 48 places for children aged from babies up to five year-olds.

“This facility will be instrument­al in filling the void in childcare services in Jerilderie,” Cr McRae said.

“We have also recently surveyed Darlington Point residents to identify needs in the town. Feedback from both towns provides us with valuable informatio­n as we plan for the future of our area and prioritise projects.

“As said before, the success in bringing projects like this to fruition is dependent on support from the community. We saw this in Jerilderie with the Early Learning Centre committee working tirelessly to make their dream of a new centre a reality.”

The survey is open until 5pm this Friday and can be found on council’s website or on Facebook.

A hard copy has also been sent to each household and is available at the Coleamball­y Murrumbidg­ee Council office.

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