Deniliquin Children’s Centre and Barham Early Learning Services will combine to deliver education and care for children across regional communities, maintaining these valuable services for families in the area.
Barham Early Learning Services (BELS) reached out to Deniliquin Children’s Centre (DCC) earlier this year after the BELS committee recognised that with the service more than doubling in size and with the complexities of growing regulatory demands that an alternative model needed to be considered.
DCC General Manager, Felicity Michael, welcomed the discussion of an integration with the Barham company. “Our philosophy at DCC is to ensure all children in rural communities have access to happy and stimulating early learning environments. We know the value that childcare and preschool services bring to families, as well as contributing to strong and vibrant communities”.
“BELS approached us with concerns about the increasing demands of the governance roles and were looking for ways to ensure the service would continue”, said Felicity, “I am pleased that after many discussions, the integration will go ahead, and the children of Barham and surrounds will continue to receive high quality care and education for locals by locals”.
“We are excited for the opportunities that this will bring for employment and training, as well as a fresh perspective and a meeting of the minds across both centres with so many talented and skilled educators,” Felicity said.
Yvette Myhill, President of the BELS committee said she is thrilled that BELS were going to be joining with DCC. “Our priority is, and always will be, the children within our community. In a time where children’s services are in such high demand we felt it was time to consider the sustainability of the service and for us to consider our growth more holistically”.
“DCC is one of the largest childcare and preschool services across the Riverina and Murray region, as well as being our closet neighbour, and it made sense to approach them”, Yvette said, “we are excited that they are on board, and we know that the 118 children currently enrolled at BELS will benefit from their organisational and management strengths.”
The project is underway, with the integration expected to be completed by July 2022. DCC and BELS have committed that families and children will have no disruption to the current programs that ensure that children continue to feel happy and safe in their environment.