Unfortunately this very well used centre which for over twenty years has provided quality childcare for the families of the Elsternwick area will close on Xmas Eve.
Glen Eira Council ran the service in a facility leased from Alfred Health (Dept of Health). When the lease was called in early last year it was always going to be a battle to save this centre despite the high demand and waiting lists - To put it simply too many present Councillors supported by the administration just weren't interested in local govt playing a significant role in childcare. Add to this an unhelpful State Govt and the scene was set for this closure despite strong community opposition.
On the 3rd of August as part of a delegation from Council and with parents I met with the Health Minister Mr.Davis to explain the issue and seek clarification on the future of the site with the possibilty of crown land being made available for a new centre. The most telling point of the meeting was when the Minister asked Council what planning and provision had been undertaken for future childcare needs- The answer was an honest none.
Council and parents are yet to hear back from the Minister.
Certainly I'd like to pay tribute to the many parents who worked tirelessly to save this centre including the collection of a thousand signature petition in support. It was an honour and inspiration to work with them - All their efforts will hopefully be rewarded in the future.