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A leading Queensland not-for-profit organisation is developing an increased focus to become a specialist provider of early intervention services.
Churches of Christ Care is committed to growing its services to children, youth and families and is achieving this by focusing on four specialities.
Children, Youth and Families General Manager Jane Carter said these four specialisations are skilling parents (primary prevention), supporting families in need (secondary prevention), caring for vulnerable and/or abused children (tertiary services) and assisting young people to successfully transition to independent adulthood.
“Focusing on these key needs closely aligns with our strategic direction and further positions us as a leader in these areas,” Ms Carter said.
“Our strengthened focus will allow us to more sustainably provide much needed specialist care for vulnerable Queensland families and children.”
However in order to enable growth in these areas, some difficult decisions have had to be made about unsustainable services. As such, following decades of dedicated service to local families, Churches of Christ Care is exiting six Early Childhood Centres.
Ms Carter advised families and staff in late October that affected centres will not be reopening following the standard end of year closure.
“It is with great sadness that due to financial restraints and changing community demand we won’t be operating these centres from next year,” Ms Carter said.
From January 2017 there will be no centre-based childcare offered at Chinchilla, Kallangur, North Buderim, Southport, St George and Withcott services. Families are being encouraged to make alternative arrangements for the new year.
Statutory bodies and regulators including the Department of Education and Training, and the Australian Children Education and Care Authority have been informed of the exit. Local councils and politicians have also been made aware of the decision, which does not affect all of the early childhood services provided by Churches of Christ Care.
“As there is a strong community need for childcare and other family support services within the remote Paroo region, we are retaining our early childhood service in Cunnamulla,” Ms Carter said.
“Additionally we will not be exiting our family day care centres (home-based care), in fact we are currently exploring options for these services to support families in more tailored ways.”
However the organisation’s immediate focus is on the children, families and staff of the six affected centres.
“Our thoughts are with the staff and families who will finish with us at the end of the year and our focus is on providing them with as much support as we can during this challenging period,” Ms Carter said.
Other services provided by the not-for-profit organisation are unaffected by the exit from the six childcare centres.
“While the exit from these Early Childhood Centres is unfortunate but necessary, we remain committed to our other local services,” Ms Carter said.
Services provided to children, youth and families by Churches of Christ Care include family day care, family support services, and foster and kinship care. It also operates residential aged care, retirement villages, housing services and community care services.
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