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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 9 Hansard (21 August) . . Page.. 2740 ..

Nicholls early childhood centre

(Question No 213)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Education, Youth and Family Services, upon notice, on 6 June 2002:

In relation to additional child care places in a demountable at the Nicholls Early Childhood Centre which were programmed to become available in the first week of April:

1) On what date did the places become available.

2) How many additional places became available.

3) What caused the delay in the places becoming available.

4) How many staff, at what qualification levels, work at the centre.

5) Have all the places been filled.

Mr Corbell: The answer to Mr Cornwell's question is:

1) The transportable at Nicholls Early Childhood Centre was handed over on 29 April 2002. The additional places became available to families from 6 May 2002. With the addition of the extra 27 places, the service planned a smooth transition to the new arrangements. As a part of this transition, the service provided the children and families already attending the centre with a week to adjust to the new arrangements, prior to orientating new children. This resulted in the new places being available from 6 May 2002.

2) A total of 27 additional places became available at Nicholls Early Childhood Centre, increasing the centre's licensed capacity to 90 places.

A further 27 places were also established at Ngunnawal Children's Services, increasing their licensed capacity to 86 places.

3) The delay in the places becoming available was due to two factors; the supplier not being able to supply the buildings within the planned timeframe and subsequent delays by the building contractor in installing the units.

4) Nicholls Early Childhood Centre employs 25 staff, including the Director. Of these staff, seven are qualified, holding a Diploma in Community Services (Children's Services) as a minimum, six are enrolled in a traineeship in children's services, two are employed as cooks and the remaining ten staff are unqualified. The staffing at Nicholls complies with the ACT Centre Based Children's Services Conditions for Approvals in Principle and Licences. These conditions set the minimum requirements for the operations of licensed centre based children's services.

5) All of the places at Nicholls Early Childhood Centre have been filled. The places at Ngunnawal Children's Services have also been filled.

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