Cumberland City Council explores new operating model for nine LDC centres

Cumberland City Council explores new operating model for nine LDC centres

by Freya Lucas

April 14, 2021

Fresh models are being explored for the nine long day care (LDC) centres in the Cumberland City Council in order to improve quality and efficiency, with the future of the Council managing the services currently in doubt. 


A re-tender process will be undertaken, with a more refined brief, in order to explore options for an alternative provider to run the centres. Council also pledged to continue investigating a new operating model that would see the operation of the centres retained by Council. 


“It’s a significant decision that will be carefully considered to ensure the best outcome for ratepayers and families,” Mayor Steve Christou said.


He outlined Council’s commitment to continuing to leverage the working group which includes union representatives, staff and two councillors, with the Group currently investigating more cost savings and increased revenue opportunities, so the service can sustainably run itself without being subsidised by rate payers.


“Depending on the final position of this working group, and the offers submitted via the new tender process, there is a possibility that Council may consider retaining the services without privatising them,” he added.


The Council-owned and run long day care centres provide care for 608 children and are heavily subsidised by Cumberland City rate payers – up to $1.9 million a year. 


“With staff costs and overheads, it’s difficult to compete with private providers, which is why we need to look at alternative operating models to achieve the best value for money for rate payers, while maintaining the same number of child care places,” the Mayor explained.


Increasing low enrolments in some centres will also be considered as part of the process.


The minutes from the relevant meeting may be viewed here