Fee hike to save Rosedale’s early learning centre

Changes to services and fee structures have been announced to keep the Rosedale Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre from closing within two years.

The Rosedale Neighbourhood House committee of governance chairman Owen Drummond said the committee was committed to continuing to provide childcare service excellence at an affordable rate for the Rosedale community.

“The committee has recognised with great concern that the early learning centre is now operating at a significant financial loss, in the region of $40,000 per annum,” he said.

“Despite great efforts over the past few years to keep service cost to users at a minimum, it is imperative that changes are made now to make sure that our community still has a service to use.

“Regular, unforseen changes to childcare legislation, which impact both our staffing requirements and number of children we can accommodate, mean that while our outgoings have increased, our income has not kept up.

“Following a financial review, we recognise that, while increases to fees are not preferable, without the introduction of one immediately, the facility would certainly face closure within the next two years.”

Mr Drummond said fee increases for 2015 had been kept to a bare minimum, but at a rate which will ensure sustainability of the service.

“This decision is not made lightly, but with recognition that childcare is vital to the Rosedale community and without this increase, it will no longer be viable to operate,” he said.

Mr Drummond said when compared to fee structures at other local childcare facilities, that of Rosedale’s NKELC continued to offer outstanding value for money.

In addition to the fee increase, from term one 2015, three-year-old long day care would be hosted with four-year-old funded kinder.

Because of occupancy limits, current space in the centre is not being utilised to its potential.

This change will enable it to care for more children up to two years old and benefit three-year-old children by assisting their development preparation activities for kinder.

The committee is working on a number of structural changes and business efficiencies for 2015 and 2016 to ensure continued financial viability and operation of the Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre.

Users of the service and interested parties are invited to attend a drop-in session at the Rosedale Neighbourhood House on Monday, January 19 ,between 1pm and 3pm.

Members of the committee will be available to provide more information and answer any concerns regarding the changes, or about joining the committee of governance.

People with queries regarding the changes but who are unable to attend the drop-in session can phone the committee of governance on 5199 2595 or email rosedalenh@wideband.net.au