Following two years in limbo, Moree Family Support’s vacation care is back up and running after finally securing a permanent home for the service.
The Kidz Club vacation care program returned for the first time in two years on Thursday, January 3 after receiving final approval for the service just a few weeks before Christmas.
Moree Family Support’s vacation care program has been without a permanent home since 2012, when their building was flooded during the 2012 floods. Since then, the program has operated from a number of temporary locations until 2015 when they were left looking for a new site.
In a twist of fate, the service is now back in its original building, now the new Scout hall, near the Rocket Park, after forming a partnership with 1st Moree Scout Group.
“When looking for a building, Scouts contacted us about forming a partnership and being able to use the building for vacation care and after school care,” Moree Family Support manager Felicity Curtis said.
“Without Scouts, none of this would be possible.
“We had very limited options to run vacation care and after school care. This is a great opportunity.
“There’s been a lot of communication with Scouts to get this up and running. They’ve been really supportive.”
1st Moree Scout Group leader Kylie Kerr said the partnership made sense. With Scouts only using it once a week during the school terms, there’ll be no overlap with Moree Family Support’s vacation care or after school care programs.
“We’re not here during the school holidays, so having someone use it is good for us,” she said.
“We’ll use the money generated from rent to put back into the hall. Over time we hope to improve [the building].”
Ms Curtis said the application process to get approved for quality of care with the Department of Education was a “tedious” one, which is why it’s taken so long for the service to get back up and running.
“But we’re finally there,” she said.
“After about 12 months we will have to undertake an assessment and rating of the service with the Department of Education; we are assessed on seven quality areas, so families can be assured we are having to work under the Department of Education’s quality standards.”
Moree Family Support is still working through the final process of requirements for after school care, but is hoping that it will be up and running by the end of February.
It’s also in the final process of being childcare subsidy approved, which will make the service more affordable for families, particularly low income families.
“We’re hoping to offer affordable, quality care that will eventually be partially subsidised for families approved for the childcare subsidy through the Department of Human Services,” Ms Curtis said.
In the meantime, Moree Family Support reduced the fees to make it more affordable for families these school holidays.
Numbers for this summer’s Kidz Club have been limited since the approval only came through in December, and many families had already sorted out alternate school holiday care. Priority for these school holidays went to families who had previously utilised the service.
Ms Curtis said it was “a great relief” for people to have the service back, as there are limited options in town for working families.
“It’s affordable, that’s the big thing,” she said.
There are still spaces available for children to participate in Kidz Club these holidays. If families want to access the service, contact Moree Family Support on 6752 4536 to talk through the process and get an enrolment pack.
Vacation and after school care is available for children aged five to 12.
Kidz Club, which is run by Meaghan Hatcher, offers a range of fun activities including art and craft, games, water and outdoor activities, and excursions. Much of the day-to-day activities are based on the interests and needs of each individual child.