Childcare centre future becomes clearer

Families and staff affected by the closure of Wallan’s Killara Children’s Centre have been offered free short-term counselling as the community is still reeling.

People affected by the closure were informed by administrators at a community meeting last Monday about what happened and the next steps in the process, including accessing personal property.

The meeting also provided an opportunity for people to access information about alternative care providers and to come together to support each other through the change.

A Mitchell Shire Council statement said as the decision to close was made by the former operators, who rented Bentinck Street the site on a peppercorn lease, council could not stop the closure.

Council is considering options for the site, including an early years service and other community activities.

Council has also been advocating and liaising with government departments as well as service providers to support short-term solutions, including finding available day care places.

Before and after kindergarten care arrangements are in place for Killara students attending Wallan Kindergarten in Bentinck Street, which is operated by council and a list of local childcare places has been provided to Killara families.

Council hosted a barbecue for Killara staff and families at the Community Bank Adventure Playground in Wallan on Sunday to give them a chance to come together.

Mitchell Shire Mayor Bill Chisholm said council was pleased to see a number of options were available for affected families in the short-term.

“Council has been exploring a wide range of options behind the scene looking for the best outcomes for both children and parents,” he said.

“We are also providing the four-year-olds from Killara attending kindergarten at Bentinck Street with additional kinder hours to ensure their transition to school next year is smooth for themselves and their families.”