Tasmania’s West Coast Council consults with community around preschool needs

Tasmania’s West Coast Council consults with community around preschool needs

by Freya Lucas

January 21, 2022

Tasmania’s West Coast Council has consulted with the local community about activities and services for preschoolers after Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data showed that children in the area are developmentally behind their peers. 


The AEDC data identified 22.8 per cent of children on the West Coast under five as developmentally vulnerable in terms of physical health and wellbeing, compared with 9.5 per cent for Tasmania as a whole.


Play on the West Coast is limited, Andrew McDougall from the Queenstown Child and Family Centre told local paper The Advocate, and he believed this has a large impact on children from the area being developmentally vulnerable.


“The West Coast local government area in physical size is actually the largest in Tasmania, but its population is one of the smallest,” he explained.


“That means the population is dispersed, and travel times and access to facilities is a concern.”


The Council’s general manager, David Midson said the community had given valuable feedback  around activities and services for preschool children, with requests to improve current facilities being the main demand. 


“Things like improvements or upgrades to playgrounds and other facilities designed for children was the main feedback we got,” he said.


“A lot of parents were also looking for indoor undercover areas to take their kids, and more information on walks and other locations where they could take their kids and be safe.”


To gather more information the Council will conduct workshops with local families at the Queenstown Child and Family Centre to determine what specific improvements need to be done to facilities.


For the original coverage of this story please see here