Yilgarn Occasional Child Care Centre located in Southern Cross has become the latest Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Centre to join the Regional Early Education and Development Inc (REED).
This addition follows on from Child Care Centres in Corrigin, Merredin and Brookton, which joined the not-for-profit service in June, September and October 2019 respectively.
REED offers a new cluster model of management to provide ECEC services across the Wheatbelt, working to reduce the burden on local Committees and Shires to provide these vital community services.
The 22 place Centre was under significant financial pressure, as it was a State funded service meaning parents who utilised the service were not eligible for Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy (CCS) funding. Due to this, the Centre had kept the fees at a very low rate, and it could not cover its operating costs. Its management committee made the difficult decision to suspend its services until a solution could be found.
Upon merging with REED, who are registered to deliver the federal CCS, families who attend the Centre will now be eligible to apply to access the CCS to reduce their out of pocket expenses for child care fees.
The Centre re-opened on 5 November 2019 as REED - Yilgarn. To promote the new service, REED hosted an Open Day on Monday 4 November to meet the parents and to assist them to access the CCS.
REED Board Chair Helen Creed said that ‘this merger is a perfect example of how REED and local community committees can work effectively together to ensure service vital to the community can continue to operate. Thanks to the Shire of Yilgarn, for their ongoing support of the Centre and REED, and the hard work behind the scenes of our staff and the Yilgarn Committee to get this service re-opened’.
Centre Chairperson Sara Loader said ‘we are all excited to be able continue to offer quality childcare in our community with REED’s help and guidance. Our services and the staff can now flourish, whilst our parents will also benefit.’
REED was officially launched by Minister Simone McGurk MLA, Minister for Child Protection; Women's Interests; Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence; Community Services in Narrogin in March 2018.
The State Government and Lotterywest have funded REED in the establishment phase. The head office is located in Narrogin and REED Cluster Managers service South, East and West locations in the Wheatbelt.
Over the next 12 months, additional Wheatbelt ECEC services in towns are expected to merge with REED.