Council childcare leads the way

Article image - Council childcare leads the way Children at Blacktown City Council’s Quakers Hill Kids Early Learning Centre.

Australia’s national childcare and education authority recently found local-government owned and operated services have higher standards than their commercial counterparts.

An Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) report has revealed that many more state/territory and local government services operate above the profession’s national standards, compared with the commercial sector.

According to the report, more than 50 percent of the local government centres are above standard, compared with 18 percent of the commercial centres.

Mayor of Blacktown City Council, Stephen Bali, said government-operated childcare centres not only provide safe, affordable and accessible alternatives for local families, but in many cases, also deliver a higher quality service.

“This report [demonstrates] what we have long understood at Council:  that parents depend on us when they send their son or daughter to preschool or before and after school care,” said Mayor Bali.

“Parents know they can rely on their local council to help keep a lid on expenses, while still ensuring their child has access to high quality childcare and education programs.”

There are now more than 180 local government child care services providing education and care to more than 20,000 children in metropolitan Sydney; cementing the local government sector’s presence in the education and childcare profession.

“Blacktown City Council has been in the child care business for more than 40 years,” said the Mayor.

“Our Kids’ Early Learning service cares for 1700 children across 25 centres, making it one of the largest child care operations in New South Wales.

“Like other local councils, we recognise that the first few years of a child’s life present a critical opportunity to shape their development and to ensure that he or she becomes a healthy, positive young member of our community.

“Kids’ Early Learning services build on this, allowing children to develop a curiosity and enthusiasm for learning, forge new relationships and acquire basic life skills.”

According to Mayor Bali, the staff plays a vital role in ensuring services are consistent with standards, and that children are cared for in a safe and secure environment.

“At Kids’ Early Learning, we understand that children need to be cared for in the right environment and by the right people if they are going to reach their full potential.

“This involves working with families to understand the needs of both parents and their children, and aligning these with the programs and services we offer.

“We have also appointed a dedicated compliance team to ensure appropriate monitoring and quality controls are put in place, resulting in better social and educational outcomes.”