New 112-place child care centre ready to welcome kids.
A new child care centre years in the making is promising to be an integral part of one of Ipswich’s fastest growing suburbs
A NEW child care centre years in the making is promising to be an integral part of one of Ipswich’s fastest growing suburbs. The 112-place Ripley Early Learning Centre quietly opened up on June 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. There are no plans for a big open day or official opening in current circumstances.
It is the first Ipswich centre under the umbrella of Dandelion Early Learning Centres and it is located on Rawlings Rd, directly opposite Ripley State School. Dandelion director Kristine Malone said families can take private tours of the centre. “We opened in June and we’ve had quite a few families join us at that time,” she said.
“We just made the decision to open despite the parameters of the childcare package that was released by the government.
“As a new centre we actually didn’t receive any funding and that’s when childcare was free.
“We just made the decision because there were quite a few essential service workers who wanted to get their children started with us.” Ms Malone said the service had been planned for a number of years and hopes of opening in March were dashed by COVID-19.
The centre caters for kids from six weeks to five-years-old with six studios, an on-site chef and an emphasis on nature. When it reaches capacity, staff numbers will be between 40 and 50 people. “We also run a vacation care program,” Ms Malone said.
“In the future we’d hope to do an after school program as well.
“We run an approved kindergarten program too.
“We’ve made ties with Ripley State School so our aim is to work with other members of the community and collaborate and build partnerships.
“There was an opportunity to put a state of the art facility in place in an area where there’s obviously such a growing population.
“We’re located smack bang in the middle of the Sovereign Pocket development.
“We’re just on the border of the Torhaven estate and there’s lots of defence housing going across the road from us.
SOURCE: Courier Mail