After a strategic review, Wydinia Early Learning Centre (ELC) in Colac, run by BCYF, will close at the end of 2021. Wydinia Kindergarten, which operates 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten at the same site, will remain open.
A core component of BCYF’s Early Years Management is high quality education and care programs via 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten. BCYF currently operates seven stand-alone kindergartens across Colac and Geelong.
Streamlining our early years’ service, will allow a strong focus on the delivery of kindergarten programs to better support children in Colac to access our quality kindergarten programs.
Places at Wydinia Kindergarten will increase by six in 2022.
The Early Learning Centre is currently the only long day care service operated by BCYF, offering only 18 places per day in comparison to other much larger services in the Colac community. As a very small service, Wydinia ELC is limited in the hours of operation and standard inclusions (such as meals and nappies) that can be offered, making it difficult to compete with the service delivered by larger operators.
BCYF will be ensuring Wydinia ELC families and staff are provided with a range of supports throughout the transition.
The ELC will continue operating as normal until 21 December 2021. This will enable all families to access their current care arrangements for the remainder of the calendar year and support a smooth transition into kindergarten, school or another service in 2022. BCYF will be available to all families who need assistance with this transition.
BCYF recognises that this change will have a significant effect on ELC staff members and the Wydinia Kindergarten team. The organisation is committed to supporting staff and families through this process.
“The closure of Wydinia ELC was a difficult decision and not one that has been made lightly,” Director, Early Years Services Barb Hayes said.
“This comes after a comprehensive review of BCYF’s Early Years services.”
“We recognise and appreciate the commitment and dedication of the Early Learning Centre educators.”
“The closure of the service is in no way a reflection on the standard of care, educational program or professional practice of the educators.”
“With the introduction of Government subsidised three year old kindergarten, children in Colac now have the opportunity to access 2 years of kindergarten for 15 hours per week. The changes at Wydinia will allow for an additional 6 kindergarten places to help meet the increased demand. Families are encouraged to register online at https://www.bcyf.org.au/registration/ or phone our enrolment officer on 5231 4740.”
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