The Parndana Community Children’s Centre Governing Council

… Steph, Kate, Rhyy, Jacky, Meg, Kate and Ella share how it all came about…

“Our journey started seven years ago when the Kangaroo Island Children Services checked the need for a childcare centre in Parndana with an initial survey. There has previously been an OSHC and Family Daycare services, but never anything like this, with other family members usually filling that gap if they lived close by. Over the years, families even engaged au-pairs or nannies to provide that much-needed support in their household. Even after another survey to re-establish the community demand, much lobbying and even a feasibility study, it still didn’t eventuate into a service. After experiencing the devastating Black Summer fires, families on the western side of the island desperately needed childcare to safely clean up their properties and know their children would be well cared for in a safe environment. After lobbying and being able to set up an Emergency Ad-Hoc Childcare Service, that service ceased after only two weeks in operation due to Covid-19 and suddenly families were back on their own. Childcare is such an important essential service provided in a community; we knew we had to keep going to make it happen. There have been many times where we wanted to give up but we bounced off and kept encouraging each other to keep going. There are just so many families out there with children working on the farm because they have no other option, even though it is unsafe. Parents really need a break, just a respite every so often, and we all appreciate that. We are all mums from all walks of life, and we all bring different skillsets to this Governing Council. Some of us grew up here, others have moved across and understand what it’s like not to have that close family support when you need to have a time-out. Some of us bring long-term experience in the educational sector to the table, others stakeholder and management skills, but we all share enthusiasm, drive and determination. We all want to see this project come to life. When we found out that we had received the grant funding of $1.8 million dollars through the Government’s Local Economic Recovery Funding to really make this dream a reality for our community, we all just felt so ecstatic, relieved and proud. We knew how beneficial it would be for so many families. We were bursting at the seams when the announcement was made, wanting to just jump and scream ‘yes.’ There had been a need for this service in our area for so long and we all have experienced first-hand the sheer desperation of families requiring help. Now we are in the early concept design stages, still applying for more grant monies and getting more support, but we know it is going to happen and that is just so exciting.  Hearing that the proceeds of the Humans of Kangaroo Island film and literature festival will support us in getting there, just shows again how amazing this community is. The money raised there, via ticket and drink sales, will go towards a play space in our new Parndana Community Children’s Centre. To see all those families supported, that is just really important. It will open up possibilities for parents, like being able to go back to work, plus it will also bring a lot of wellbeing and improved mental health to families in this area knowing they have a reliable service they can access when needed.”

Published by sabrinadavis5223

I am a German living in South Australia. We lost our home and farm in the Kangaroo island summer bushfires. I love travelling, reading, beach walks, board games, watching movies and spending time with my family.

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