21 May 2024

Shock as Junee childcare centre prepares to close its doors

| Jarryd Rowley
Join the conversation
childcare centre

One of Junee’s few childcare centres will be closing its doors at the end of June, much to the surprise of families and staff. Photo: Care for Children.

Families in Junee say they have been left in the dark after the Goodstart Early Learning Centre announced it would be closing its doors next month.

The 44-spot non-for-profit centre made the announcement via a message to families on Monday night [20 May], explaining that the centre will only be operating for another five weeks.

“At times our current financial model requires us to review our operations to ensure we can continue to deliver on our vision and purpose,” Goodstart State Manager Melinda Harrington said in the email.

READ ALSO Council gains an extra 12 months on Wagga Airport decision but the clock is ticking

“After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation, we have made the very difficult decision to close Goodstart Junee.

“Sadly, the centre will close its doors on Friday, 28th June 2024.

“Please be assured this decision has not been made lightly, and we understand the implications for our families.

“As you will appreciate, this is a challenging time for our team, and we are working with them to identify other employment opportunities within the Goodstart network.”

The decision will impact more than 15 staff and the town of 6500 people will be left with only one childcare centre.

READ ALSO Federal funding pumps nearly $4.5 million into Lake Albert Water Sports Precinct

The surprise closure comes on the heels of the NSW Government’s announcement that it would build 100 new public preschools by 2027.

The Riverina, like many regional areas, already faces a growing childcare shortage and many existing centres have expressed concerns over a lack of trained staff.

In announcing the investment in public preschools, Minister for Regional NSW Tara Moriarty said the NSW Government had been listening to and learning from families, communities and expert educators and hoped to work towards universal preschool for every child in NSW.

“This is a long-term commitment, and we will work with the whole ECEC [early childhood education and care] sector to support quality, equity, and access in a range of settings so that every child gets a strong start in life and learning,” she said.

Unfortunately for the people of Junee, none of the 100 planned public preschools are slated for the Junee LGA or the broader Cootamundra electorate.

Junee residents may have to travel to Wagga Wagga, more than 35 km away, to enrol their children into a centre with available vacancies.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.