Janelle Pellegrinet and Kristy Ferguson watch building progress at the new Calliope child care centre eagerly.
Janelle Pellegrinet and Kristy Ferguson watch building progress at the new Calliope child care centre eagerly. MIKE RICHARDS

One week left until term, still spots at kindergartens

THREE Gladstone region kindergartens still have vacancies with the first term just one week away.

Birralee Kindergarten president Denise Conley said it was unusual for the time of year; there was normally quite a waiting list.

She said the transient nature of the working population had them welcoming many new families, and still looking for children to fill their groups.

Ms Conley said she hadn't seen it like this since before the industry boom really took place in Gladstone.

Calliope Kindergarten also has vacancies in its classes for term two, when their second building will be ready.

"It's very much a reflection of what's going on in Gladstone with people moving town."

Various funding pools, including from Rio Tinto's Here for Childcare, are drying up too, so child care centres are having to rethink how they might raise funds.

But it's not a situation reflected right across the region with a number of centres, including at Tannum Sands and Boyne Island, already full.

Construction started on Calliope's second building late last year, three years after the small town was declared a 'high need' area for kindergarten facilities by the state government.

"We've always had a waiting list so first we offered places to those on the list," co-director Samantha Taylor said. "We don't have a waiting list now. Anyone with an enquiry has been getting a spot." The building, which was funded by a $1m grant, now has its walls up and it will be painted in the next few weeks.

Enrolments

Calliope Community Kindergarten: 17

Birralee: Less than 5

C&K Community Kindergarten Clinton and Gladstone: Less than 5

Tannum Sands Kindergarten, Boyne Island Kindergarten, Koolyangarra and Kookaburra Creek are all full



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