Batlow Apple Tree Learning Centre receives CCCF funding boost
The Batlow Apple Tree Learning Centre has received $400,000 funding through the federal government’s Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) which saw an injection of $1.39 million into the Eden-Monaro electorate as it recovers from the Black Summer bushfires.
$400,000 is the largest amount received within the electorate, with service director Heather Murray telling local publication Tumut and Adelong Times that she is thrilled with the outcome.
“I was gobsmacked; I didn’t think we’d get that much…I thought they’d give us something because we were severely impacted by the fires,” she told the paper.
The funding falls into the sustainability category and has been introduced to support services in rural and remote areas who are struggling to remain viable due to low enrolment numbers – something which is likely to be “a big issue” for the service given the decimation of the foresting industry, a major employer in the area, as a result of the fires.
“We are extremely grateful. It’s pretty life-changing to the service; it’s a massive boost and will take a lot of pressure off us. It will hopefully help us employ more staff so that we have a better staff-to-child ratio,” Ms Murray said.
The funding criteria is broad, and is able to be put towards wages and general day-to-day running costs.
“It will basically subsidise the amount of income that we would have missed out on because of the fires,” Ms Murray explained.
“At the moment, we’re running okay, but once the full impact hits, and jobs start to peter out, that’s when we would start to struggle,” she said. “Because we are the only long-day care service in town, it is pretty vital we stay open, so I was very, very excited.”
The community based service has offered long day care for 21 years, and had operated for many years before that as a preschool. Currently 35 children use the service.
Other recipients in the region include:
- Bright Horizons Australia Childcare in Tumut ($30,000)
- Snowy Valleys Council in Tumbarumba ($127,400)
- Snowy Mountains Care and Early Learning Centre in Jindabyne ($102,000)
- Bermagui PreSchool Co-Op Society Ltd ($100,000)
- Banjem Pty Ltd at Braidwood ($84,000)
- Eurobodalla Shire Council at Moruya ($120,000)
- Bega Valley Family Day Care ($240,000)
- Thredbo Early Childhood Centre ($195,000).
Minister for Regional Education Bridget McKenzie said the CCCF would help ensure childcare continued to be available for many families.
“These grants will have tangible benefits for childcare providers that will flow to local children and their families,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It means more families in Eden-Monaro can take advantage of the Child Care Subsidy if they choose to work, learn or volunteer.”
The original coverage of this story may be accessed here.