Community members are invited to a meeting which will address childcare issues in Karoonda

Karoonda council will be seeking feedback from local residents to explore a “sustainable” childcare service model for the region.

A survey was sent out last week to residents in the district with a public meeting to be held at the Karoonda Institute at 7:30pm on Tuesday night.

The COGS service, delivered by the Southern Mallee District Council, currently provides one day of childcare per week in the region for children.

Karoonda council chief executive Matthew Morgan said council were acting on growing community sentiment that extra childcare services are needed in the region.

“Access to childcare services in Karoonda has been an item of discussion for a number of years and council is conducting community engagement to move forward on this important issue,” he said.

In 2014 a report into early childhood services in Karoonda found at that time over 210 residents over the age of 15 provided unpaid childcare services to either their own or other people’s children.

Mr Morgan said council needs to establish the need for childcare services in the community both now and into the future, and also the level of care required.

“We are asking parents if they require full-day care or just after-school care, which will help us determine what a potential service model might look like,” he said.

“We are also asking participants to tell us about their level of satisfaction with existing services.

“With the community’s help, the survey results will provide and accurate picture to council about the needs of the community, help inform our decisions and assist us in moving forward.

“Having a sustainable and flexible childcare service is beneficial to everyone in the community, not just the parents.”

Mr Morgan reminded residents that council’s survey is different to the COGS survey and all responses would be kept confidential and encouraged all interested community members to attend the meeting on Tuesday night.