Y WA and Rio Tinto pair up to solve childcare crisis
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Y WA and Rio Tinto team up to address accessibility in the ECEC sector with $5,000 grant

Y WA and Rio Tinto team up to address accessibility in the ECEC sector with $5,000 grant

by Freya Lucas

March 21, 2023
A smiling child, around four years of age, is pictured sitting in a hammock, in front of a retaining wall. The child is wearing a hat, and a blue see saw is shown in the background.

Rio Tinto and the Y WA have joined forces in response to demand for early childhood education and care (ECEC) in the City of Karratha and The Shire of Ashburton via a $5,000 family day care (FDC) start-up funding package.


The program aims to recruit FDC educators in the City of Karratha and the Shire of Ashburton by offering a strong support system from the Y, coupled with the funding package from Rio Tinto.


Western Australia was identified in a 2022 report as having the lowest overall ECEC accessibility, particularly in remote regions. The $5,000 grant can cover any home renovations required to ensure the property meets standards, licensing fees, purchasing equipment or higher education costs. 


In order to be a qualified FDC provider, completion of either a Certificate III in  Early Childhood Education and Care or a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care is required, both of which can be completed at the TAFE WA Karratha campus for free.


“We are pleased that this partnership will assist in providing local families with additional choices for early childhood services,” said Rio Tinto Managing Director Rail, Port and Core Services Richard Cohen. “We understand that sustainable early childhood services are a key factor in building thriving communities.”


While educators are free to set up their own businesses, The Y WA CEO Dr Tim McDonald explained, under this program they have the advantage of operating under the Y banner, acting as a governing body that ensures compliance by the individual, and of course access to all the Y’s resources, extensive experience in this area and stringent safeguarding policies and procedures.


Patricia Raulf is a local resident who has received a grant, now operating one of the few FDC services in the region. She says more people should consider getting on board. 


“My situation is a little unusual because I have a swimming pool at home, so for compliance and safety reasons I rented another property to run my FDC business – Karratha Kinder House.


“I’ve been passionate about education since I was very young and when I was just five years of age, I told my kindergarten teacher that I would one day be doing her job. I have worked in early childhood education most of my adult life and started my FDC in February.” 


Ms Raulf said she is “so thankful” not only for the grant, which she used to cover licencing and ‘the basics’ to get set up, but also for the support from the Y which she says has been invaluable. 


“I work independently and follow my own philosophy of giving the children choice and independence,” she said. “I was never able to achieve that in bigger early learning centres.”


The Y WA Family Day Care Service provides comprehensive support to educators to set up their own business, with support staff assisting prospective educators through the registration and membership process and offer ongoing support, including home visits, play sessions, resources and training, electronic information, phone support and payment of the Child Care Subsidy.


Support staff visit each FDC home regularly to mentor and observe educators in an informal manner, while recognising and respecting the individuality of each family home and assisting in the provision of providing safe, flexible, affordable, early learning programs in a supportive and stimulating home environment.


For more information, contact the Y Family Resource Centre on 08 9752 4033.

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