Scarce childcare hard for families

STEPPING Stones Childcare Centre director Heather Curran doesn't know what to tell parents who are looking to place their kids in child care anymore.

"If we're full, I generally refer them to other centres or family day care, but they're all booked," she said.

"You can't get in anywhere."

Some moves are being made to address the issue, with a meeting held on Tuesday between industry representatives and childcare providers in the region.

While organisers were unable to elaborate, Ms Curran said Rio Tinto and LNG were represented at the gathering to gauge the impact on childcare services.

"Everyone was at capacity with extremely long waiting lists," she said. She added government regulations meant each centre could only cater to a

certain number of children.

When asked if Stepping Stones would consider opening 24 hours to accommodate shift workers, Ms Curran said it was a struggle as it was to find and retain staff.

"A qualified childcare worker will make between $500 and $600 and with rent prices increasing, it's hard," Ms Curran said.

Ms Curran added she felt for the parents who couldn't find care for their children, especially for those who didn't have family in the area to assist.

 

UNDERWAY

  • According to Gladstone Regional Council there are two current approvals for childcare centres
  • A 75-place centre at Victoria Ave/Glenlyon Rd, Glen Eden
  • And a second 75-place centre within the ULDA precinct in Harvey Rd, which is currently under construction
  • Stepping Stones director Heather Curran


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