News

Daycare waiting lists blow out

Emerald’s ABC Goodstart Early Learning centre has more than 250 children on its waiting list.
Emerald’s ABC Goodstart Early Learning centre has more than 250 children on its waiting list.

ARE you planning on putting your baby in childcare in the next three years?

Well, get in line.

As local childcare waiting lists are longer than ever, prospective parents should be looking into placing their child on the waiting lists - even if they do not have a baby on the way.

In most centres around the region there are up to 50 babies on each waiting list and with a wait of up to two years, young families could be forced out of the Central Highlands.

Emerald mother Katy is due to give birth to her second child in September and has already put her unborn child's name on daycare waiting lists.

But if she can't get childcare, her family will have to move.

"By the time bub is due to start, he or she will have been on the waiting list for 12 months and still there is no guarantee. So my partner and I just ride the wave and wait and see how it goes," Katy said.

"We both know that if we can't get a spot we will have to move again as we can't afford to stay here.

"The cost of living in this town has increased substantially since my first (child) and I am again on the daycare roller coaster to get back to work after six months and support my family.

"No mum chooses to go back to work, we do it with a hole in our heart and a tear in our eye to try and support what means the most to us, our family, (and) the extra pressures surrounding the return to work decision are really unfair."

A former local childcare worker said mothers were getting desperate for childcare.

"There are people here who need to work to survive, especially living here," the worker said.

"Emerald is going to end up losing families with young children, because they won't be able to get childcare for their children."

"Every day we would have at least eight inquiries, parents would have finally found somewhere to live after months of waiting for a house, and then they realise they have no childcare.

"I've had two ladies just burst into tears - one even thought I was joking when I said it would be at least a one-year wait.

"Childcare regulations state that there can only be two staff members to look after eight babies and two staff to 10 toddlers. If more staff was to be hired, the room needs to be a certain size.

"You would be able to fill another two childcare centres in Emerald and fill them straight away.

"You've got the childcare crisis on one hand but you need staff as well. They come out here for a few months but realise they can earn more as a checkout chick. Childcare workers here are earning between $15 and $21 an hour.

"Desperate parents in Emerald are resorting to unqualified babysitters, despite the risks and danger of something going wrong in the hands of an inexperienced carer."


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Isaac welcomes new CEO

Isaac Regional Council welcomes the appointment of new chief executive officer Gary Stevenson.

Mayor Baker today announced he will start with Isaac from July 1.

Trolley delivers auction success

GOOD IDEAS: Ideas man Roger Little with boilermaker fabricator Paul Dickens who helped make the trolley.

Trolley delivers auction success

Meet the Flynn candidates for the 2016 Federal Election

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is campaigning for a third term. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Meet your candidates for the seat of Flynn.

Latest deals and offers

Help out appeal for Salvation Army

PLAY a valuable part in the work the Salvation Army achieves in the Central Highlands by donating to the Red Shield Appeal on May 28–29.

Isaac welcomes new CEO

Isaac Regional Council welcomes the appointment of new chief executive officer Gary Stevenson.

Mayor Baker today announced he will start with Isaac from July 1.

Trolley delivers auction success

GOOD IDEAS: Ideas man Roger Little with boilermaker fabricator Paul Dickens who helped make the trolley.

Trolley delivers auction success

Meet the Flynn candidates for the 2016 Federal Election

Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd is campaigning for a third term. Photo Paul Braven / The Observer

Meet your candidates for the seat of Flynn.

Spirited game a shining success

Tanae Kearney (Sportsmanship Medallion), Braith Kemp (Coaches Medal) and Sam Chick (Play of the Day).

Spirited game a shining success

Origin starters

Clermont Junior Bears fullback Roman Revell-Blair with his under-9 team who are heading to State of Origin game one.

Origin starters

Things to do in Central Queensland this week

Capella Show. Photo Matthew Holdsworth / CQ News

Your guide to events this weekend and throughout the week

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...