Strategies to address a shortage of childcare options in Hedland are underway across training and infrastructure, with the Town of Port Hedland, BHP, Child Australia and Hedland Collective working together to move the childcare waitlist.
Tina Hudson relocated to Hedland from Sydney for an employment opportunity, when limited local childcare options meant she was forced to leave her son behind with his father.
“We were on a childcare waitlist since last year and ultimately, I made the move with my seven-year-old daughter and without my husband and son,” Tina said.
She has now secured weekly childcare for her young son at Rose Nowers Early Learning Centre.
“It was hard on me emotionally to be away from him, so it’s so good to have normality back,” Tina said. “My daughter was really missing her brother as well.”
Wins like these in the delivery of high quality and accessible childcare in Hedland are part of the Hedland Childcare Roadmap to Success.
As part of this initiative, BHP and Child Australia launched their Thriving Futures partnership to develop a sustainable workforce strategy, with six people placed into the scholarship program in Hedland centres.
BHP also funded the refurbishment of the South Hedland Play and Learn to the tune of $740,000 and the Town of Port Hedland repurposed the Port Hedland Library for $274,000.
In 2020, 82 new childcare places were created and six educators and 49 children were placed in family day cares.
Ten school-based trainees started their Certificate II in Childcare in 2020, and 11 school-based trainees started their Certificate III in Childcare in 2021.
It is predicted that by 2041 there will be a demand for 615 childcare places in Hedland.
Strategies in development to prepare for this as part of the Hedland Childcare Roadmap include initiatives like the extension of Hedland Senior High School’s School Based Traineeship Program, the Thriving Futures Academy and local workforce development programs, works to establish a local au pair housing facility and before and after school care, and the development of a Childcare Director Mentorship Program.
To find out more about the Thriving Futures Program, head to thrivingfutures.org.au or call 1300 66 11 64. For more about the work Hedland Collective is doing in this space, contact email@example.com or visit hedlandcollective.com.