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Town supports childcare development with $3m contribution

Published on Wednesday, 3 April 2024 at 3:29:08 PM

More than 90 additional childcare places could become available in Port Hedland following a Town of Port Hedland Council decision to contribute $3 million.

At its Ordinary Council Meeting last week, Elected Members voted to support the development application for an expansion of the Rose Nowers Early Learning Centre in South Hedland.

The Centre currently offers 43 places for children. Its proposal would see the building expanded to create capacity for 134 children.

Mayor Peter Carter said the project was promising for the community, which continues to battle with limited childcare options.

“Access to childcare is a significant barrier for people in our community. We are happy to support initiatives to address this issue,” Mayor Carter said.

“In 2021 we commissioned Child Australia to assess the childcare needs in Hedland – this indicated a shortfall of around 380 childcare places across Hedland.

Mayor Carter said the Town was committed to seeing solutions to the problem of limited childcare.

“Addressing childcare gaps in our community is a team effort where all levels of Government and community organisations need to play a role,” Mayor Carter said.

“The Town has already demonstrated its commitment to filling the gaps in childcare, either through our own projects, advocacy, or partnering with other providers. This is a great example of the latter coming to fruition.”

Elected Members also voted to contribute $3 million to the project. Rose Nowers Early Learning Centre will seek State and Federal Government Funding to leverage the Town’s investment, which is contingent on external funding being secured.

Rose Nowers Director Sarah McKenzie said the centre had conversations with parents every day who were desperate to secure places for their children.

“This proposal to expand the Centre will be amazing for our existing families and the wider community of Port Hedland.

“We are thankful to the Town for supporting our vision. We are looking forward to working with the Town to gain State and Federal Government support for this important expansion.”

The Council supported the development application, but stipulated further investigation needed to be undertaken on traffic and parking impacts. Conditions required those investigations to be undertaken ahead of an application for construction being lodged with the Town.

“It’s important we go through all the checks and balances to ensure such a development would not have adverse effects on the community, such as the creation of unsafe traffic conditions,” Mayor Carter said.

“I want to thank Rose Nowers for the work they have put into this project, demonstrating leadership to address a critical social issue.”

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