Kitchen refurbishment for new mining town childcare facility
Three Springs is a township of 900 people, located in the mid-west region of Western Australia, 350km north of Perth, and it has begun to expand due to a number of mining projects in the nearby region. Three Springs had a primary school and a small regional hospital but was in dire need of a childcare facility.
A committee of community members, called the Three Springs Childcare Inc, decided to address this severe lack of community infrastructure. They were given an empty building to house their childcare facility by the Shire of Three Springs, but were required to refurbish this building before they could gain a license for childcare.
Childcare is an important service for community health issues. It is a highly regulated sector that ensures that the physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs of the children are being met. Because of their remoteness, rural communities can sometimes see that children do not get the opportunity to socialise with other children their own age. The establishment of this new childcare facility would provide an opportunity for this socialising to happen.
FRRR granted $5,000 through the Small Grants for Small Rural Communities program towards the refurbishment of a new kitchen. The existing kitchen was dilapidated and had too little bench space for preparation of food for the children.
President of the Three Springs Childcare Inc Janine Haeusler said that “It took 8 months to refurbish the building to be able to get a license to do childcare. The brand new kitchen is really great.”
“We had significant support from various grant agencies and agricultural businesses along with The Shire of Three Springs and FRRR. It was a huge commitment by volunteers to complete the painting and other labor jobs. There was over 250 hours of volunteer labour,” she said.
The application for a license to operate a community run not-for-profit long day care centre was successful, and the new childcare facility is now running five days a week, and caring for 12 children with ages ranging from 0-12 years. Many parents have been able to return to fulltime work as a result, helping the community progress.