ROSEDALE Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre will close unless enrolments increase significantly by October 1.
To run sustainably into the long term future the centre requires an additional 34 places per week to be filled
The Committee will be reviewing enrolment numbers and finances on October 1. If the places have not been filled, a decision will be made to close with four weeks’ notice to families, the closing date would therefore be Friday, October 30.
This decision affects the Long Day Care, Kinder Kare and After School Program. It does not affect the kindergarten program, which will remain open through 2015.
Residents were informed of the decision by the committee of governance during meeting at meeting at Rosedale Neighbourhood House on Thursday night.
A group of concerned parents and community members will meet tonight from 7pm at the Rosedale Prince Street Reserve to discuss options for saving the long day care service.
Parents and community members expressed their outrage at the lack of consultation, the short notice, the apparent unwillingness to work for the community towards a solution and the lack of transparency around the financial management.
According to parents, the decision has the potential to have long term effects on the community.
Of concern is Rosedale's lack of regular public transport, making it price prohibitive for parents to travel out of town for childcare services.
There was much discussion around why some families have chosen to take their children out of the service in recent years, the general consensus was the staff have not been given adequate resources for their programming, so subsequently families have sourced centres with better resources.
Wellington Shire Council acting community general manager Frances Ford said council recognised the importance of families having access to quality and affordable childcare.
"We are working closely with the Rosedale Neighbourhood House Committee of Governance as they explore options for future directions of the Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre," she said.
"Council acknowledges the Rosedale Neighbourhood House committee of governance is facing major financial challenges and will support them as they work towards a sustainable solution.
"It's really important community members understand that the four-year-old kindergarten program is not at risk and will continue to be offered through the service."