Many families in Port Phillip value the smaller scale and local nature of our community-run childcare. These centres foster community connection and provide high quality education and care.
But, in December, the City of Port Phillip voted to sell-off three community early childhood centres. The Council argues that it does not have the funds to ensure these three buildings are accessible and safe. This puts The Elwood Children’s Centre, The Avenue Children’s Centre and Kindergarten and Eildon Road Childcare and Kindergarten at-risk of being closed and sold-off.
If this sell-off goes ahead it will mean the loss of 120+ community-run childcare places across our area. It’s simply not good enough to ask these families to relocate their children to a yet to be built mega-centre in another suburb, or to scatter to an assortment of private facilities. And it’s unacceptable to abandon staff and families who have put so much into making these centres what they are.
This can all be avoided if federal and/or state funding is committed now. What matters most isn’t how these centres are saved. It just matters that they stay open. And if a funding commitment is given, Council will have no cause to proceed with the sale.
The Greens have made a commitment of $5 million for renovation or relocation to ensure these centres have a home for the long term. We’re calling on the Labor and Liberal parties to match this commitment. These centres must remain in public hands, run by the community. Without a funding commitment, they are just passing the buck. Add your name to our joint-letter.