NQ mums desperate to access child care
MOTHERS are at their wits end in Collinsville as the community struggles to cope with a lack of childcare services in the isolated town.
Local mums claim the absence of child care is impacting on the town with businesses losing staff, families relocating or being forced to stretch a single income.
They also claim the lack of a service is having an affect on the mental health of some, desperately wanting to return to work.
Nicola Grieger is one mum pushing for more childcare services in the region, a service she believes is vital.
"There were two home daycares, but the one my daughter was in shut down last month and the other one is closing down very shortly," she said.
Even when both were operational combined they could only cater for a maximum of eight children.
After her first child, Miss Grieger was forced to leave her career in real estate. She said that being unable to access childcare has put a strain on her family.
Miss Grieger believes not having child care is also having an impact on the children.
"They don't get to learn and play from other children," she said.
"Children thrive off each other, they also thrive off an adult they can trust other than their parent."
Samantha Curley is in the same boat having put her job and university degree on hold, saying she feels disconnected from the community.
"There is a lot of negativity from mothers," she said.
"People are at the point that they .... resign [themselves] to the fact they they will not have a career for the next 20 years.
"I'd love to go back to work. I miss work, I miss serving the community."
She said a lack of services, including heath services was also driving families away from the area. At the moment, both women agree the solution is a community-run childcare centre which would operate a full-time 12-hour service.
Ms Curley said the principal and P&C of Collinsville State School have made an offer to donate an old school building to the cause, but having a building does not entirely solve the issue.
According to Burdikin MP Dale Last the issue is affecting a number of regional mining centres.