Early Learning Centre Lismore celebrates its first birthday with a fancy-dress party. Pictured are teachers Kristine Macdonald (centre) and Stacey Stavenow with some of the children in their care.
Early Learning Centre Lismore celebrates its first birthday with a fancy-dress party. Pictured are teachers Kristine Macdonald (centre) and Stacey Stavenow with some of the children in their care. David Nielsen

Child-care centre remains stable

A LISMORE child-care centre that was hanging by a thinfinancial thread this time last year has managed to fight back and retain its status as a successful and stable facility.

The Early Learning Centre on Keen Street, which was once the ABC child-care centre, celebrated its first birthday yesterday after triumphing over the nationwide shake-up of ABC centres last year.

The Lismore centre was told in January last year it was facing closure and scrambled to find a new buyer to revive the centre, which it managed to do just in time.

“For the families initially it was a huge relief to remain operating,” director Linda Hungerford said.

“It has only been the past couple of months that people have seen us a viable option for childcare and have looked past that stigma attached to ABC centres.

“A lot of people just assumed we were closed.

“Our numbers dropped so low we thought no one was going to buy us, and I thought we were going to have to fire staff.

“It has been word-of-mouth from families who already have their children here that has really helped us.”

Ms Hungerford is glad to be an independent centre free of the ABC restrictions.

“We want to renovate this building and make a baby room, but we can’t because funds for the centre are frozen because there is a court case going on with him (previous owner Eddie Groves) involved,” she said.

The centre will hold an open day next Saturday from 10am to 2pm.



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