Town Hall open for after school care

Leichhardt Municipal Council will open up town halls and community centres for use by after school care services to tackle the unprecedented after school care crisis in Inner West Sydney.

Council’s plan will create space for hundreds of new after school places.

Mayor of Leichhardt Darcy Byrne said that Council had recognised that something must be done to address the severe shortage of places.

“After school care services are being crowded out of local primary schools.

“The Government is refusing to act but Council is determined to make space available.

“With literally hundreds of small children being deposited outside the school gate at 3pm or sent home alone, we will now take urgent action to fix
this crisis.”

This follows on from recent revelations that the New South Wales State Government has underestimated the baby boom in Sydney’s inner west, and that by 2015 between 700–900 new primary and after school care places will be needed.

“By making town halls and community centres available, we can make sure local kids are being cared for and parents don’t have to dash desperately away from work.”

In total council are making four spaces available for use by after school centres, including the Annandale Town Hall and the Balmain Town Hall.

Independent analysis commissioned by Leichhardt Council indicates that the schools with the out of school hours care services greatest wait lists are Annandale North Public School, Rozelle Public School, Leichhardt Public School and Balmain Public School.

The policy will result in existing after school care providers being offered space at nearby council facilities, and these after school care services would need to be approved by the Department of Education and Communities.

The policy is on public exhibition till June 30.