Fire funding fails to materialise, leaving Parndana still waiting for ASC options

Fire funding fails to materialise, leaving Parndana still waiting for ASC options

by Freya Lucas

March 10, 2022

Australia’s attention was captured by the devastating bushfires which ripped through Kangaroo Island, claiming land, wildlife and homes. 

 

Two years on from the disaster, local early childhood education and care (ECEC) service Parndana Childcare Centre is continuing its push for after school care (ASC) for the community after its Black Summer funding request was denied

 

The Parndana Children’s Services Committee had hoped for a Black Summer grant of $975,000 which would allow a room for after-school care, as well as an extra room for visiting child-related health practitioners to be built on land adjacent to Parndana school campus.

 

The committee has already received $1.8 million from the state federal Local Economic Recovery program to build a childcare centre, however Committee chair Stephanie Wurst said ASC was “desperately needed” in the Parndana district, as the lack of care was holding back recovery and economic development.

 

She described the Black Summer knock back as “doubly frustrating” given the whole childcare project had been on hold waiting for the news

 

The committee estimates that ASC provision would result in 30 full-time positions, a combination of existing residents being able to work, new residents moving to the district because of the service and jobs at the actual centre.

 

“We will work to find a solution on ways we can secure funding to build facilities that will allow residents to access this important service,” she told local news source The Islander Online.

 

The committee will proceed with the main childcare component and will now progress with an amended development application through the KI Council.

 

Mayor Michael Pengilly is also disappointed that the after-school component did not receive Black Summer grant funding. The KI Council has made Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) one its five main priorities for the federal election.

 

“At present, all child care facilities and services on the Island are at full capacity,” the priorities document states.

 

“Parents who live and work in and around Parndana, being the heartland region and further west, are driving over three hours per day to access childcare, if any spaces are available, so that they can go to work and provide for their families.

 

Many of the families in Parndana were directly impacted by the Black Summer bushfires and still have significant rebuilding work ahead to bring their primary production business back to full production along with the rebuild of their homes.

 

To access the original coverage of this story please see here

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