No staff means new centre in Naracoorte can’t open
The Sector > Provider > General News > No staff means new centre in Naracoorte can’t open

No staff means new centre in Naracoorte can’t open

by Freya Lucas

December 13, 2023

An 80-place early childhood education service in the South Australian country community of Naracoorte would be a massive support to the town, however staffing is proving problematic. 


There are currently no qualified staff to man the facility which is ready to open at the site of a former TAFE facility.


Speaking with local media about the development Mayor Patrick Ross said staffing was “a big problem”. 


“If the facility were to open tomorrow and there were 60 places filled, the staff would not be available to look after the children,” Mr Ross said.


In response, he is calling on women from Naracoorte’s migrant community to see the opening as an opportunity to gain employment.


“I do understand that there are many women in our community who wish to do some work while their children are in daycare,” he said. 


“I also understand that there are many women within our migrant community who would be keen to be part of the daycare centre as employees. For all that to come together, I imagine even if we have a start date on the childcare centre, that may allow women in our community to get whatever certificate is needed to work within the daycare centre in various capacities.”


Currently there is no timeframe for the opening. When contacted by Naracoorte Community News, South Australia’s Minister for Education, Training, and Skills Blair Boyer said that the department “was prioritising creating a pipeline of skilled workers to address the acute worker shortage in childcare”.


“We are also prioritising creating a pipeline of skilled workers, particularly during a national skills crisis, with early childhood education being one of the key sectors we are investing in,” Mr Boyer said.


“This has been done by including it on the fee-free TAFE list to help break down barriers for those looking to enter the sector, as well as having it as a dedicated stream at Findon Technical College to encourage young people to work in the field.”


This article first appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.

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