THE future of kindergarten, childcare and early learning facilities in the Corner Inlet region is now secure.
Last Friday, Prom Coast Centres for Children Inc. (PCCC) confirmed their intention to Uniting Care Gippsland (UCG) to take on the business of providing these essential services to families in the Corner Inlet district.
From May 1, a volunteer committee of management will operate the four centres at Foster, Fish Creek, Toora and Welshpool under the revised name Prom Coast Centres for Children Inc (PCCC). PCCC will operate as a not-for-profit community-based, incorporated association.
Since late December, 2013, a voluntary steering committee has worked tirelessly to review the concept of community-based management for PCCC. This has involved detailed assessment of the current and possible childcare service models and organisational structure, in-depth financial analysis of the services, formation of the incorporated association, becoming a licence holder, reviewing and assessing business operations and coordination of the process of transferring the business.
The South Gippsland Shire has provided ongoing support during this time, which has assisted the group through these detailed processes. This has enabled the steering group to fast track a process that typically takes six months, allowing it to happen within two months. This committed and professional group of people have worked incredibly hard simply because they are passionate about keeping these services within our community.
PCCC is now in the hands of the community, who will exercise decision-making and control of these services, and any profit will go back into the centres.
PCCC will take on board many of the processes and responsibilities that were once managed by UCG head office. All community members, and especially parents and family members using these services, are welcome and strongly encouraged to join PCCC and have a say in how these services are managed. Indeed, the long-term success of the centres will rely on ongoing voluntary community input.
The number one priority for the committee of management at this stage will be to ensure a smooth transition from UCG. Following this, the group will be active in reviewing the day-to-day operation of the centres and trying to maximise their efficiency to ensure their viability in the long term. Input from staff and families will be crucial in moulding these services so that they best suit the community’s needs as well as being financially sustainable into the future.
The committee of management intend to do everything in their ability to ensure the smooth transition from UCG to PCCC. However, they ask that families and staff be patient whilst they are managing the complex change process.