from a press release dated Thursday 4th March
***-Glen Eira City Council has written to Alfred Health regarding its preferred options for the ongoing provision of child care in the Elsternwick area.
In May last year, Alfred Health informed Council that it would not extend the lease on the Kooyong Road building, which has been home to Elsternwick Children’s Centre for more than 20 years.
Glen Eira Mayor Cr Margaret Esakoff said Council’s preference is for the Centre to remain open under the current lease arrangements.
"This arrangement has been working well for the last 20 years and Council would like to see it continue — as would the families who have and do currently utilise the centre," Cr Esakoff said.
"However, if Alfred Health is unable to commit to an ongoing lease then Council will seek to build a new childcare centre on available Crown land currently part of the Caulfield Campus of Alfred Health.
"Council believes a new purpose-built centre will not only provide a greater security of tenure, but an improved child care offering for the area."
Cr Esakoff said Council intends to discuss the availability of Crown land with Local Members of Parliament and Ministers.
"Assuming Crown land is made available, Council also intends to seek a commitment from Alfred Health that the current lease arrangement continues until such time as the new centre is built,"
Cr Esakoff said- ***
This is positive progress in resolving the present uncertain future of the centre. There are still significant hurdles to overcome though, chiefly securing available crown land for a new centre possibly in the north-east area of the Kooyong rd (Caulfield Hospital)site.
Also obtaining a 'bridging lease' that allows the present ECC to continue operating after Xmas Eve this year when the current lease is due to expire.
Local parents have advocated and campaigned strongly on how important this childcare service is to their community and I will continue to work hard to support an ongoing council-run childcare service in the Elsternwick area