Kununurra brings in modular homes in a bid to meet ECEC demand
The Sector > Jobs News > Kununurra brings in modular homes in a bid to meet ECEC demand

Kununurra brings in modular homes in a bid to meet ECEC demand

by Freya Lucas

November 07, 2023

The West Australian outback town of Kununurra has outlined plans to install modular homes in a bid to attract desperately needed early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals to the area. 


ECEC availability across the wider Kimberley region is being described as being ‘at crisis point’, with huge waiting lists and extreme staff shortages. This issue is exacerbated by a lack of rental properties, meaning that even if staff were wanting to come to the area to work, there is a lack of homes for them to live in. 


Pressure on the rental market in the area means it’s not uncommon for homes to be rented out at $700-$800 a week, locals indicate. 


To help ease the housing pressure, the ABC reports, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley has indicated that it is scoping a project to build 10 one-bedroom-and-ensuite modular homes to rent to ECEC workers in the first instance.


The Shire intends to seek government funding to cover the cost of headworks for the project, estimated to be $4–$5 million. Should the funding application be successful, Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley chief executive Vernon Lawrence said, construction would start next year.


Ewin Early Learning Centre is the main ECEC provider in Kununurra, and manager Jana Adlam shared with the ABC that the service is currently running at less than half of its 84 place capacity due to a lack of staff.  


Not being able to get ECEC is a deterrent to job seekers who would otherwise be happy to work in the region. 


“Certainly, here at the shire we’ve had instances where we’ve made job offers to people to come join our organisation, they’ve had to decline because they can’t get childcare places,” Mr Lawrence said.


Access the original coverage of this story here. 

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