One-off payment keeps child care centre afloat

WELLINGTON Shire Council has approved a one-off payment to help out Rosedale early learning centre.

Council will hand Rosedale Neighbourhood House $18,000 to enable the Neighbourhood Kids Early Learning Centre to remain open while a sustainable business model is developed.

The payment comes on top of $30,000 in interim sustainability assistance funding from the federal government.

For the past five years, the centre has been running at a loss.

Surplus funding provided as part of the original setup of the service has been used to cover losses, while the committee has introduced changes to the service in an attempt to address shortfalls.

Concerns over the future of the centre have been widespread in recent months, with falling enrolment numbers bringing its future into question.

Before receiving the funding, the centre urgently needed up to 34 new attendees to keep its long day childcare, Kinder Kare and after school programs in operation beyond October 30.

Since being approached by the neighbourhood house committee in August, council staff have helped examine options to enable the centre to remain open while business models are developed.

Councillor Patrick McIvor said the centre needed to be sustainable in the future.

"Underpinning this (one-off payment) is the belief that we want to help our have kids the best start, but the reality is this centre has been operating at a loss and needs our help," he said.

"I don't believe that it would be a good outcome for us to get stuck into an ongoing financial drain on the shire.

"That's not what this is.

"We can't let ideology get in way of a reality, which is the centre needs some help.

"They need a once-off financial injection so they can get better equipped to be more sustainable so they can deliver what they need to deliver for the families of Rosedale.

"We can do that this year by providing the once-off funding, but also assisting them on a path to make the necessary changes."


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