Exceeding centre suddenly closes after 40 years of serving local community

by Freya Lucas

February 28, 2019

The Adelaide Advertiser has reported that the 36-place, Exceeding-rated Camden Community Early Learning Centre will close this week, with staff being advised on Tuesday that by Friday, they will no longer have employment, and leaving parents from the centre scrambling for childcare options.

 

The centre describes itself as an “intimate 36-place centre” with an emphasis on play-based learning, which has served the local community since 1978. The Advertiser reported that the centre was placed into administration this week after running into financial difficulties.

 

Speaking with the Advertiser, Director Vanessa Rameh said the team at the centre were devastated by the news, describing it as a massive loss to the community, with the lack of notice being especially jarring.

 

As well as the early learning facility, the Camden Community Centre offers a range of programs to the broader community, supplemented by local and federal grants, and income raised through an opportunity shop, a men’s shed, and other fundraising activities.

 

The community centre as a whole has 30 staff and 80 volunteers,and assists an average of 275 people a week. The centre provides 60-70 two-course hot meals a week for the community, operates social programs for vulnerable community members, hosts a range of special interest groups, and allows the community access to a community garden to grow vegetables and herbs.

 

The Advertiser reported Administrator Tim Clifton from Clifton Hall as saying: “It’s a bit of an unfortunate situation really because this association has been going for a while and it’s got the point where the childcare centre has unfortunately started to lose money.”

 

Mr Clifton cited the availability of resources provided by the early learning centre as “not great” and said that a competitive environment in the local area had impacted on occupancy levels within the centre, with only 18 children enrolled in the service.

 

The Advertiser quoted a letter sent to parents by Ms Rameh on Tuesday, stating the appointment of administrators on the 25 February, and, as a result of their review, the impending closure of the centre, on 1 March.

 

The original coverage by The Advertiser may be accessed here.

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