Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s long-running childcare woes will soon have some relief with construction started for a new 92-place early learning centre expected to be opened by the end of the year.
OTB Developments this week began construction of the Porter Street centre, just a stone’s throw from Kalgoorlie’s CBD, which will be operated by Y WA.
The Y’s WA chief executive, Ross Kyrwood admitted the greatest challenge in opening the centre would be recruiting staff, but that he was looking forward to taking on that challenge.
“We know there has been a demand issue for a while and we look forward to partnering with the community to achieve a win for them in terms of vacancy,” he said.
A nationwide recruitment strategy will start by August, with expressions of interest for enrolments to be taken from the end of July, with the goal to open mid-November subject to regulatory approvals.
Y WA general manager of children’s services, Shae Welch, said training locals for educator positions would always be preferred, but a national recruitment strategy had proved successful in other regional towns where the Y was established.
The centre will begin a staggered enrolment phase over a couple of months, starting with a small group of children and 12 educators, before building up to maximum staff of 25 in a three-month period.
Architecturally designed to “fit in” with surrounding buildings on the outside, the centre has been custom built with a modern learning environment inside.
“The centre will be a beautiful, natural home-like environment where we can comfortably support children to have the best start in life and help prepare them for school,” Ms Welch said.
“The environment will align with our childcare philosophy and the Y’s approach to learning, where the focus is on nature and encouraging a curiosity around learning.”