DESPITE performing a vital community service, Little Yuin Preschool at Wallaga Lake is in danger of closing due to a lack of funding.
Letters some weeks ago were sent out to State and Federal ministers saying unless additional funding was secured, the not-for-profit preschool at the Koori village would be forced to close its doors by this Friday, June 30
An emergency grant from the Eurobodalla Shire Council however saved the day for the school’s 13 students and the programs offered to Wallaga Lake families, at least in the short term.
And the preschool will be working with Narooma-based Katungul Aboriginal Corporation Community & Medical Services to boost enrolment with chief executive Jon Rogers authorising the use of a service bus to deliver students from the Narooma area.
This means the school’s bus will now be free to service Bermagui and Cobargo areas.
Director Lea Sutherland was hopeful enrolment would grow and reminded all parents the facility was open to students of all backgrounds and just passed an assessment and rating inspection with flying colours exceeding national quality standards.
She said school had been forced to cut staff hours and take other measures but the recent shake-up of preschool funding arrangements had hit its three day a week operation hard.
The office of State Member and Treasurer Andrew Constance has confirmed the letter from the preschool and elder Shirley Foster had been passed up to Education Minister Andrew Picolli’s office and the situation was being assessed.
A council spokesperson meanwhile said council for the last two years had been managing a project using federal government funding to support the health, education and employment outcomes of the Wallaga Lake community.
“Because of the importance of Little Yuin to the social development of the community, council provided support from this project to ensure its continued operation until further funding was received.”
A spokesman for Federal Member Peter Hendy said correspondence had been received but that it was very much a matter for the State Government.
The preschool, which recently was featured on the hit television show River Cottage Australia, was also planning an open day on July 16.
Stay tuned to the Narooma News for details, and to find out how get your little ones enrolled, contact the school on 4473 7396.
Complete our poll below: