New provider challenges persist as AWCC confirms Chiltern Kindergarten November exit
The Indigo Shire Council have provided an update in relation to ongoing challenges in securing a new provider for childcare and kindergarten services in Chiltern, following confirmation from current provider Albury Wodonga Community College (AWCC) that they intend to exit the service, as previously announced, in November 2020.
AWCC first came to the attention of the Australian early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in 2018, when Cathy McGowan, Member for Indi, questioned Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan about how education and care would be provided for in the region following the cessation of Budget Based Funding, which aggravated already heavy financial losses for AWCC.
At the time AWCC Chairman Kevin Poulton was quoted in The Border Mail as saying AWCC had underwritten average annual losses of $30,000 for the past eight years, but that the introduction of CCS had “increased the losses tenfold”.
Since that time, the Council has been “making every effort to achieve the goal of having a new provider in place in readiness for the 2021 year”.
The Council was recently made aware that AWCC had sent correspondence to parents which identified challenges in securing a new provider, and confirmed that AWCC will be exiting the service at the end of November 2020.
“We are working with interested providers and Commonwealth and State government departments to analyse and assess a range of operating models which can assist any new provider deliver a strong and viable service and which meets the needs of families for the foreseeable future. The challenges are real but we remain optimistic that a solution can be reached” the Council said in response.
One of the challenges posed, the Council said, was that the ongoing provision of quality childcare and kindergarten services in Chiltern “is heavily dependent on the support of parents and families and the associated commitment to use the services. In short, without consistent numbers of children in the services, the viability of any service is compromised.”
The Council committed to keeping parents informed of any progress, and to striving to ensure that a new provider was secured.
Further information about the history of this story is available on The Sector, here.