Looking to invest in childcare services? WA’s Kalgoorlie-Boulder wants to hear from you
Local newspaper, The West Australian, has highlighted the high demand for childcare in the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region, citing a lack of available places leading to long waitlists of up to two years.
The City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Chief Executive John Walker reportedly told the newspaper that the council was looking at ways to support childcare availability in the city, however called on private industry, including not-for-profit organisations, to consider services establishing or expanding services within the area as the provision of childcare was not core business for local government.
In December 2017, a review of the city’s childcare services was undertaken to address the 75 per cent increase in Kalgoorlie-Boulder demand for childcare over the last 20 years, despite the closure of two ECEC centres (representing a total of approximately 80 places).
The report said “The scarcity of child care places has a significant negative impact on local labour market participation, especially for women. It is acknowledged that, caring for children remained the most common perceived barrier to labour market participation for women.”
Kalgoorlie-Boulder is Australia’s largest outback city, located 596 km northeast of Perth, with a population of over 30,000 people. The region attracts young families, with over 16 per cent of its population aged between 30-39 years, and nearly 9 per cent aged under 4 years of age.
Childcare finder website www.careforkids.com.au lists nine ECEC services in Kalgoorlie, and four of which are fully booked, while Boulder has four services and one without vacancies.