Access to daycare services in Weipa has been an ongoing challenge for many residents, including women re-entering the workforce after maternity leave, as well as new and prospective community members moving to town.
With extensive waitlists at both Cape Kids Childcare and Weipa Family Day Care, local providers have struggled to meet the demand for child care with limited places from birth to school age.
In January this year, Weipa Family Day Care operated 12 home-based child care places and had a waitlist of 30 children.
The partnership between Rio Tinto and the Weipa Community Care Association will address the current demand for more early childhood care services in our community.
The agreed funding will enable WFDC to attract and retain suitably qualified educators while actively promoting the rewards and benefits of being a home business owner.
Rio Tinto Weipa acting general manager Dan Kelleher said: “We recognise that child care is an ongoing challenge and concern for the community.
“We want to support members of our workforce and the broader community to be able to access adequate childcare options.”
Weipa Community Care CEO Josephine Tait said her organisation was pleased to partner with Rio Tinto Weipa to address the current child care demand.
“The financial support provided by Rio Tinto, together with the expertise and support provided by the Weipa Family Day Care Scheme coordinator will make the scheme more accessible and attractive for new educators,” she said.
“Through community forums and consultation, we were able to establish that the initial start-up cost for educators has been very problematic.
“I believe this initiative will remove this barrier thus increasing local child care spots.”
Community members who want more information, or to access financial assistance to start-up home-based family daycare, are encouraged to reach out to Weipa Community Care.