A Henty mother has been shocked and frustrated by the announcement her local early childhood daycare would be shutting down leaving her with no options.
Henty, along with Mitta, Walwa, Kergunyah, Baranduda, Bellbridge, and Walla are set to lose their early childcare centres after Albury-Wodonga Community College announced they would be shut in late December.
The Henty centre had 41 enrolments between the ages of two and five years.
Rachael Terlich works part-time to supplement her partner’s employment on their farm.
“My son Billy goes to daycare when I work,” she said.
“There are no other options for under three-year-olds.
“We found out Friday night from an article in the Border Mail and we still have not officially been notified.”
Mrs Terlich said the facility in the area was extremely popular for parents.
“It is frustrating and disappointing because we had such a fantastic facility and it was respected and utilised and then to have nothing,” she said.
“It was shocking because we had so many enrollments and we had such a strong centre.”
Mrs Terlich said for daycare she would have to travel just under an hour to either Wagga or Albury.
“For us, we rely on a second income to help us with the farm so it would not be justifiable for me to drive that far,” she said.
Mrs Terlich said parents in the affected towns are rallying in an attempt to save the centres.
“We want to emphasise that there is a need and importance for education in rural areas,” she said.
“We want to know why they are closing and we want to come to a solution.”
There will be a meeting on Thursday night at 6pm at the Henty Community Club while parents try to get support from local MPs.
Albury-Wodonga Community College chairman Kevin Poulton has issued an apology to families with children attending centres which are being closed on December 21, Fairfax Media reported.
Parents of about 60 children have been impacted by the closures announced on a day when the community college was short-staffed due to the public holiday in Wodonga.
Between 20 to 25 staff will also lose their jobs.
“Advice to our staff was the first priority last Thursday when directions were given to our CEO (Rod Wangman) and senior managers that morning,” Mr Poulton said.
“We achieved that advice to the best of our ability Thursday evening and prepared letters for all families later that evening.
“We recognise that the story broke on Friday and while also seeking to respond to media requests, we still attempted to get advice to families as a priority.
“Our apology is sincere and difficult in the decision by necessity that we have taken.”
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