As shortages persist Blue Mountains Mums come up with innovative ECEC solution
In the wake of persistent challenges in accessing early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in the New South Wales Blue Mountains local mothers Sarah O’Carrigan and Dr Jenna Condie have implemented an innovative solution.
The coworking space with a creche service called is called the Bub Hub, and their approach has appeal for parents who need the flexibility to work and study with their children close by. Bub Hub launched last month with fifteen parents and their children trialing the initiative, winning praise from local MP Susan Templeman.
“Finding suitable childcare is a real challenge in the Mountains, and this is a terrific example of two women looking for an innovative solution,” she told local news source The Blue Mountains Gazette.
“What Bub Hub does is recognise that families with young kids have had two really difficult years, and some babies have not been cared for by anyone other than their parents, because of COVID,” she explained.
Families in the Blue Mountains have faced unique challenges post pandemic, with fewer ECEC options available at the same time as more families move to the area seeking services and support away from the confines of Sydney.
Rather than competing with existing service models, Ms O’Carrigan said, the service aims to support families who prefer a more gentle introduction to care, and those who are still breastfeeding.
“We created Bub Hub because we need way more childcare in the Mountains, and more flexible forms of it,” Dr Condie added.
“How we work has changed and so childcare needs to change too. Bub Hub is community-driven, so we are able to design a service to meet the actual needs of parents and children”.
Parents are making the most of the service while they wait for more traditional options to become available, or while they work remotely and can be more flexible with their working arrangements.
“Creche staff are very calm, friendly, and experienced. This clearly fills a need within the community,” Kimberley Tomczak, a Bub Hub parent said.
Ms O’Carrigan has had some experience with the creche model, which she also uses in her Health Tree Fit-Nest Mums and bubs boot camps.
“Over the past six years, I have been supporting women and new mothers to exercise by providing a creche service. I’m excited to apply my creche model to co-working. When you blend in childcare, it creates a much stronger sense of community,” Ms O’Carrigan said.
Dr Condie, a senior lecturer in digital society at Western Sydney University said social media has been integral to the success of the offering, with over 350 parents in the Facebook group.
The Bub Hub trial is taking place at Pinaroo OOSH (Out of School Hours) Care building at Winmalee Public School. Zonta Club of the Blue Mountains have provided early support by sponsoring women on low incomes to access Bub Hub sessions.
The team is now working to secure funding to run Bub Hub across the Blue Mountains. For the original coverage of this story please see here.
Overall quality ratings steady in Q2 2022 but waivers record another sharp rise says latest ACECQA snapshot
by Jason Roberts
WA approved provider fined $22,000 in relation to children who left through outdoor gate
by Freya Lucas
Emerging Minds develops online course to support children who disclose trauma
by Freya Lucas