Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Early Childhood Services Forum in Glen Eira - OCT 21

Planning a bright future for early childhood services in Glen Eira

Please join us for a forum on early childhood services that will bring together the local community, local councillors and state parliamentarian representation to discuss the needs of our community and how our council can work better in partnership to achieve this.

Guest speaker
Colleen Hartland
Victorian Greens MLC with responsibility for childcare

All Glen Eira councillors invited to attend

Wednesday 21st October 2009

1pm – 3pm

Packer Pack meeting rooms
Leila Rd,
Murrumbeena Melways 68 J8

Public transport: bus 627 along Murrumbeena Rd to Leila Rd stop ( St Patricks school ) then 7 min walk along Leila rd to Packer Park
Childcare available- please contact Neil on 0428 310 919 if required by 14/10
or for any further information.



    Kinder like a lottery in Moorabbin
    23 Sep 09 @ 09:52am by Adrian Ballantyne and Marnie Reid

    A shortage of Kindergarten placements has left Sophie Rouse and her son Charlie from Bentleigh in limbo.
    THREE-YEAR-OLD kindergarten places could be scrapped under a State Government policy that gives preference to those aged four.
    Four-year-olds will be given priority because of a requirement that by 2013 every child should receive 15 hours of kindergarten a week for a year before entering school.
    Some preschools in Glen Eira and Kingston still offer places for three-year-olds but these could be cut. Compounding the issue, Glen Eira already has about 150 families on a waiting list for four-year-old kindergarten next year. Neighbouring Kingston will finish allocating its places in November.
    Bentleigh mother Sophie Rouse said she had enrolled her son Charlie for kindergarten in May, 2008, but had recently been told she was on the waiting list. “It’s like pulling your name out of a hat,” she said. “It’s about continuity because he’s going to go to school with all those kids next year.”
    But the councils and the government appear to be at an impasse over who is responsible for providing enough places to meet the policy’s requirements. Glen Eira spokesman Paul Burke said it was not the council’s role to provide kindergarten programs, only to co-ordinate enrolments.
    “Kindergartens are a State Government responsibility,” he said.
    “The council does not deliver any kindergarten programs or fund or operate any kindergartens.
    “Kindergartens are part of the education service and should be co-located with other education services, such as primary schools.”
    But Bentleigh state Labor MP Rob Hudson said the government would fund as many places as the council provided space for. “They have the responsibility to provide the kindergartens and we will fund the places,” he said.
    A State Government spokesman said running kindergartens was the council’s responsibility.
    Local mums say their kindergartens for three-year-olds have been godsend.
    Their children were lucky to secure places this year, but families face the possibility of having no place for their three-year-olds in coming years as the State Government gives priority to four-year-old children.
    Carly Moran, of Highett, said without three-year-old kindergarten she and her daughter would have gone stir crazy.
    Angela Reader, a mother at Cheltenham’s Olympic Avenue Kindergarten, said children who attended kinders for three-year-olds had a clear advantage over those who didn’t.
    “They’re more settled, more socially confident and they understand routines,” she said. For Bentleigh mum Sophie Rouse, the kindergarten versus childcare debate was a no-brainer.
    Olympic Avenue Kindergarten committee president Anne-Maree Nunan said their 20 three-year-old places would be missed if they were forced to make them available to four-year-olds.

  2. Some really good ideas about using the Parker Park bowling club site as a potential Community Kindergarten site has a lot of merit.

    Or even, using either 112 or 118 Oakliegh Rd properties as a Kinder. From what I gather it sounds like 118 was almost ready for the picking.

    Sure it would need grants, and take a substantial amount of renovation to get to the necessary standards. But that's possible

    From what I am hearing from people in the know is that we need more Kinda's and we need them ASAP. So maybe we shouldn't be in a hurry to demolish building or sell land that can be used for such purposes.

    Any Kindergarten site could be beautifully and seamlessly blended into the park. I think as a community we can afford to spend money on children.

    The vision a energy efficient and water efficient Kindergarten snuggled into the Parker Park is a vision splendid. We need happy children experiencing healthy environments.

  3. Interesting isn't it. Just for your information there is a west part of this city. They pay megabucks in rates and it is as if they don't exist. Not even one oval west of Hawthorn Rd and you lot want all the cities rates used in an area that pays the least rates. We don't have a pool and now we will lose our much loved Rec Centre. And where are the representative Councillors. They are useless. Now we have a political opportunist and not even a question concerning which part of our city lacks kindergartens. Just a political opportunist.

  4. Perhaps it would behove you anonymous if you looked at the figures. Bentleigh, Ormond, McKinnon, etc. have the largest number of 'growing families' in the municipality. Caulfield and surrounds contains the oldest sector of the community. As for representing your other interests, then perhaps lobby YOUR COUNCILLORS. Try Lipshutz, Whiteside, and Penhalluriack and good luck!

  5. Good luck is the operative word. They have completely betrayed their constituents in allowing GESAC to be built 7km from the Town Hall. Carnegie is the centre of the city and has good public transport. As for age discrimination that was legislated out years ago.

  6. Two 'anons' of kinder services, but what about long day care? The kinder system is great to give SAHM's a break from childcare and some pre-school education - but what about the many mum's who work? Most Aussie mums prefer p/t work, but kinder hours just do NOT work even for this cohort of mums, never mind the full-timers..

    We sorely need some quality not-for-profit long day care in this municipality. I have done quite some research into the childcare sector and affordable quality childcare just doesn't happen in the for-profit sector.

    Sadly though, unless you have actually experiences TRUE quality care, it is difficult to recognise the very many also-rans. But the things to look out for include such factors as low staff turnover, qualified staff, no teenage staff, small group size and a better than required staff/child ratio.

  7. As a follow up to the article featuring Sophie Rousse (above) in the Leader, there is also an email to get in contact with other concerned parents and carers regarding the huge shortage of 4 year old kinder places in Glen Eira. Email - to contact Sophie. As the Glen Eira website states, "Children who have attended four-year-old kindergarten are generally better prepared to start school." So what about the 150 four-year-olds that have missed out on places in the City of Glen Eira? - concerned parent

  8. It is unacceptable to have our children on the waiting list for 4 year old kinder. Education is a right not a waiting list event, or a queue type night club.
    Kids have the right to have enough and adequate services that prepare them for their next step in life, be it "prep" at primary school.
    As a mother I want my daughter to experience gradually the structured learning environment which kinder provides before attending full time school. And I want this to happen at the council where I live and to which I pay my rates fully.
    I don't have solutions to the shortage of money or venues or the inadequate planning, all I have is a 4 year old daughter who needs to be in kindy next year and who is not guaranteed a place in the City of Glen Eira.

  9. It is unacceptable to have our kids on the waiting list for 4 year old Kinder. Education is a right and not a waiting list type event, or a queue type night club.
    Kids too have the right to adequate services that prepare them for their next step in life, be it a "prep" at primary school.
    As a mother I want my daughter to experience gradually the structured learning environment which kinder provides bfore attending school. And I want this to happen in the council area where I live and to which I pay my rates fully.
    I don't have solutions to the shortage of money or venues or the inadequate planning at Glen Eira City Council, nor I have an answer to whose responsibilty it is to manage Kinders. All I have is a 4 year old daughter who needs to be in kinder next year but not guarentted a place within the City of Glen Eira.

  10. Glen Eira has divested itself of all responsibility in catering for children and their needs re kindergartens. Instead, they have become the 'middle man' merely facilitating placements rather than owning, running, and maintaining kindas. Instead we have millions poured into useless concrete paths, waste upon waste of ratepayers monies, and left with nothing to show for it. As a comparison, Glen Eira and its councillors need to be able to answer the following question: Why is it that Port Phillip can own, operate, and maintain at least 4 kindas? Why can other councils also achieve this for their residents, whilst glen eira finds it impossible? Who is responsible for such decision making. It is no longer good enough to argue - 'it's not our responsibility - it's the state governments'. Bullshit I say. The community has had enough of this continual buckpassing as an excuse for doing absolutely nothing.

  11. The system regarding the running of Kinders is Victoria wide and uniform.The only rubbish is your post.Get you facts before you give us more b-----.

  12. Which facts don't you agree with Anon? The ones about other councils doing heaps more than merely being middlemen? Or the fact about Glen Eira slowly and surely washing its hands of all social obligation to its community?

  13. Interesting issue that pulses around the community. There is no shortage of locations in Glen Eira to have Council managed Kindergardens. There is no shortage of money, whether Council, State Government and/or Federal Government to establish facilities for Kindergardens in Glen Eira. If it does not happen then that is because of the way Glen Eira Council makes decisions and is being managed.

    What ALL people in Glen Eira should understand is how politics of Councillors and Administration work. Maccabi has a pull and influence, because a number of its past and/or present Councillors or family members belong to Maccabi. The Administration loves large capital works projects as this shows how good theye are. Of course Governmnt MPs love such things as well. So GESAC was an ideal project to have, particularly in Bentleigh District. Booran Rd Reserve is another good project to have and apparently it is progressing quite well for a soccer field, although it will cost millions to clean up the site.

    Needs of other groups in Glen Eira community have nothing to do with it. Kindergarden facilities and operations are small and insignificant to a GESAC and/or Booran Rd Reserve. Yet Booran Rd Reserve can have an Infant/Child Care/Kindergarden/Youth & Senior Citizen facilities within a park environment. It can even have a Skateboard facility, all within very safe existing walls of the Reserve (no need to spend megabucks to remove the concrete walls).

    Money is immediately available to Glen Eira from the Federal Government to start such a project to the tune of $190,000 from the second round of 2009/10 Infrastructure Program. I bet it has already been earmarked for GESAC and the bureaucrats are filling in the form right now.

    There is also another lot of money from the Federal Government to be divided among Councils for Strategic Projects Round two 09/10 to the tune of $120 million. That also I believe is being worked on by the Officers to do a makeover at the Booran Rd Reserve for Maccabi soccer field with synthetic grass. But not ALL Councillors even know about that! Only those that may help administration know those things. After all Money Talks.

    But then I may be totally wrong. Can anyone let the public know what is going on? Or is it a confidential matter, even though it is to do with public facilities.


  14. Fascinating post anonymous and makes good sense. Has anyone bothered to ask why it is that a municipality that has one one of the greatest percentage of over 55's also has such an emphases on sport? Where is the planning? Where is the prioritising? Don't these clowns have demographics at their fingertips? Don't they know that aged care, and kindergartens are a priority and not more soccer pitches that only cater to a minority?