"Do less" is not a solution says Oakeshott | Rob Oakeshott | Independent for Cowper

Independent candidate for Cowper, Rob Oakeshott, has called on the newly re-elected NSW State Government to act quickly to prevent cutbacks at Eungai Preschool.


(Photo courtesy of Eungai Preschool)

"A drawn out dispute over funding has left the families of 35 young children as well as the staff at the Eungai Preschool on tenterhooks and facing the possibility of dealing with a significant cut to the hours of childcare provided by the centre. The uncertainty and stress to those involved is being heightened by what seems a lack of urgency on the part of the State Government in resolving the issue," said Mr Oakeshott.

"Teaching director, Anna Veres, believes the Education Department did not accurately assess the pre-school's funding entitlements last August and that has resulted in them being denied up to $68,000 in funding. The upshot is that this vital service to the community is dealing with a cash-flow crisis and the prospect of having to cut services by the end of April."

"When the pre-school's appeal for re-consideration of the funding assessment is met with a consultant hired by the Department of Education telling the centre to 'stop doing so much', it does appear that regional families are being asked to expect less. And that's a policy fail," Oakeshott said.

"If there was an error in assessing Eungai Preschool's funding, this needs to be rectified urgently. If there is another explanation for a vital community service suffering because they believe they are owed what is — in terms of the State budget – a pittance, then those answers need to be provided quickly. The outcome will affect the lives of a few dozen two-to-six year olds and their families, the families of the seven children on the waiting list, a group of child-care workers employed at the centre and, by extension, the whole tightly-knit community of Eungai.

"I encourage the newly elected State MPs to hit the ground running on issues like this. I am looking forward to working with them soon to ensure our communities are provided for," said Oakeshott.

"Meantime, fix Eungai Preschool funding!"

For further details, please contact Deb Spillane

E: media@oakeshott.com.au

M: 0418 603513