Pressure put on childcare centres

ENROLMENT in childcare centres and schools in Gladstone is becoming “standing room only” as the LNG industry approaches.

“We are going to need more kindergarten centres as we won’t have enough for the coming influx of people,” Birralee Kindergarten director Sue LaBurnly told The Observer yesterday.

“There has been an increase in enquiries in the last six months due to people looking for work,” Ms LaBurnly said. “It is certainly going to put pressure on child care and kindergartens services in the area.”

These concerns were voiced the same day a partnership between governments and industry was announced delivering 120 new childcare places in the Western Australian resources hub of Karratha.

Acting Deputy-Director General, Infrastructure Services, Department of Education Graham Atkins said Education Queensland planned new state schools over 20 years.

“In doing this planning, the department takes into account population trends, student number trends, and local council planning schemes,” Mr Atkins said.

“The department monitors school enrolments across the state to determine ongoing enrolment growth and responds with additional resources to meet that need.”

Stepping Stones Childcare director Heather Curran said they took five to six calls a day with some even from South Africa.

“With the LNG industry, I think there will be a shortfall in places because we’re struggling to meet the needs of the region now, let alone then.”

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