New ECEC service to be run in Augusta Recreation Centre after persistent campaign
A group of dedicated women in the West Australian town of Augusta celebrated the end of a long-running campaign to boost early childhood education and care (ECEC) options for families in the area with an announcement that the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River would develop a new community childcare centre within the Augusta Recreation Centre.
Augusta is a coastal town, with no alternative ECEC service, and the councillors noted the diligence shown by campaigners, who submitted a detailed application including architectural plans, and a fundraising pot of more than $160,000.
The full estimated cost to redevelop the southern wing of the recreation centre, to accommodate ECEC, has been estimated at more than $600,000, which includes the construction of new toilets and an increased sewerage capacity.
While notionally about ECEC, the creation of the service will have impacts beyond simply providing more options for care, lead organiser Jasmine Meagher explained.
“This is more than developing a childcare centre for our town,” she told The West. “It’s about breathing life back into a valuable community asset.”
Despite construction not yet beginning, the service has 92 registered children on a waiting list. It is hoped that the service will become “self-sustaining”, and grow to include breakfast clubs and a soup kitchen, thanks to the Shire investment of $300,000.
To progress the project, the Shire will now seek external funding and undertake a detailed costs analysis.
The original coverage of this story may be found here.