Childcare woes heighten

May 31, 2022 BY


ONE of regional Victoria’s most expensive post codes is facing the prospect having no childcare service, Lorne’s community house centre now down to one part-time educator restricted to looking after a maximum four children.

Earlier this year the centre’s administrators set a target of opening three days a week but have been unable to achieve the benchmark due to the pandemic and a shortage of educators.

In early April Lorne Community House coordinator Katy Kennedy warned the centre was at risk of closing it doors because its two casual educators were over worked and burnt out due to the pandemic, now it’s down to one after losing a casual to “exhaustion”.

The result is between 20-30 families a week being told they have no access to childcare in town.

The centre has unsuccessfully advertised for staff since January.

“We’ll take anyone, there just aren’t the qualified staff around here,” Ms Kennedy said.

Winchelsea Community House remains in similarly precarious position, it’s also unable to fill an outstanding staffing position and while it’s been able to keep the doors open, it’s backfilling with casual staff.

“Not a long term solution,” Winchelsea Community House manager Wendy Greaves said.

Anglesea is in a slightly better position, with two full-time educators the centre has kept its doors open five days a week, but has little back up for when staff fall sick and a growing waiting list for under three-year-olds.

“You keep everything held together as best you can because there’s no other option,” Anglesea educator Bec Scoullar said.

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