Rising debt threatens child care group
YOU could hear the desperation in Dianna Howell's voice yesterday as she renewed her pleas for funding to save Ballina Shire's out-of-school-care services.
Community meetings are being held this week to brainstorm ideas on how to save the Ballina District Community Services Association-run program, which if closed down would leave about 200 local families in the lurch.
The BDCSA, which operates services at Ballina, Wollongbar, Alstonville and Lennox Head, last week revealed it had been running the program at a loss for eight years and is now $93,000 in debt.
“We had 35 people turn up to the meeting at Lennox Head this week, and they were all very supportive, very disappointed, and very upset and concerned,” Ms Howell said.
“We are asking anyone who might be able to assist us to come forward.”
Ms Howell said the main source of income for the service was parental fees, and the BDCSA also received Federal Government fee rebates which subsidised direct fee costs for most families.
But she said providing high-quality accredited services in four locations had increased employment costs.
Ms Howell said Federal MP Janelle Saffin had offered BDCSA a consultant to assist in the transition if the service was to be taken over by another organisation.
Another public meeting will be held today at Wollongbar Public School from 6.30pm.