Here for Childcare
Childcare Needs Assessment, Gladstone 4680
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Rio Tinto Alcan has been operating in Gladstone since 1964. We recognise the importance that quality childcare plays in both the early development of our children and how it helps to support families.
With childcare shortages one of the top community concerns, extensive engagement was undertaken with local experts to help obtain a well-informed understanding of the issue. Conversations were had with a view to identify potential opportunities for Rio Tinto Alcan to form part of the solution.
Through these conversations, it became clear that there is not one, single solution to addressing the issue. However, a range of short, medium and long term solutions were identified, requiring various levels of funding and resourcing to actuate.
Once the consultation was complete it became clear that although there are many pressures on the childcare industry, the key challenges are in recruiting, retaining and training educators. This is influenced by the cost of living in Gladstone, new legislation impacting minimum qualifications for educators, and the overall availability of childcare in the region.
We’re here for childcare and are committed to playing our part in addressing this vital community need. However, we cannot do this alone and implementing the programmes will require a sustained and coordinated effort from key stakeholders, including local government, education institutions, businesses, private childcare enterprises, and early childhood educators and professionals.
We’re here to help ease the pressure on the childcare industry
The Rio Tinto Alcan Community Fund board has been actively working towards the best way to contribute to a solution for 12 months and are proud to announce the launch of Here for Childcare. Here for Childcare is a package of programmes which aims to ease the pressures on the childcare industry through:
- Increasing the number of childcare places through family day care;
- Attracting new educators to the industry to help meet current and future demand;
- Up-skilling existing educators to help improve overall quality of care;
- Providing tertiary level qualification support to help meet new legislative requirements;
- Providing information back to the childcare industry to promote informed growth; and
- Assisting the childcare industry to market their products and services to the community.
This will be achieved through the delivery of six programmes from 2012 – 2015, which as a holistic package will help ensure our children are provided a sound platform for the future.
2014 Anniversary Cocktail Event – What would the children like to see in the future for Gladstone?
|PROGRAMME||WHAT IS IT?||HOW WILL IT HELP?|
|Family day care||An incentive for 30 new family day care facilities to be established, increasing childcare places in Gladstone.||120 new childcare places and training of 30 new educators.|
|Incentive for educators||An incentive for individuals and their employer (childcare centre in the Gladstone region) to enter the childcare industry and complete their Certificate III in Children’s Services within a 24 month period. An incentive for individuals and their employer (childcare centre in the Gladstone region) to upskill an employee to complete the Diploma of Children’s Services within a 36 month period.||Over three years, benefits are:· 30 new educators· Up-skill 30 existing educators|
|Childcare scholarships||Three full scholarships will be awarded to three local residents to complete the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) at the University of their choice.||Three local residents complete tertiary level qualifications and start a career in childcare.|
|School based traineeships||School based traineeship offered to year 11 students including an incentive offered to childcare centres to take on three trainees per annum.||90 traineeships available over three years.|
|Professional development||Local information sessions delivered by national experts, aimed at up-skilling existing educators on important topics identified by the childcare industry.||Four workshops offered per annum.|
Consultation with local subject matter experts has been an extremely valuable approach to understanding the condition of childcare in Gladstone and identifying potential ways for industry groups to play a part in the solution. Rio Tinto Alcan would like to thank the childcare industry for their commitment to educating and supporting the early development of our children and we are proud to be able to support their hard work and dedication to making the Gladstone region a better place.
Finding childcare places is an issue for many Australian families and it has been a long-standing area of concern in Gladstone.
In Gladstone, the issue is compounded is due to the town’s rapid population growth, which is expected to almost double to 100,000 people by 2031. The 2008-2010 Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan benchmarking results, updated in the second half of 2011, show that the 2031 projected shortfall for long day childcare facilities is significant. The requirement went from a shortfall of 8.5 to a shortfall of 11.9 facilities.
Local experts have told us that new legislation is also impacting the ability for childcare operators to meet the demand for placements because it places additional requirements on facilities to comply with new educator qualification requirements, and other obligatory staffing arrangements. Adapting to meet additional requirements is made more difficult again because local operators are facing challenges in attracting and retaining educators.