|The Valley Children's Centre in Ring Rd, New Norfolk.|
Derwent Valley Council communications officer Daniel Cheetham said the council had today called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to operate the council-owned Valley Children’s Centre from July 1.
The centre is located at 45 Ring Rd, on the former Royal Derwent Hospital site, providing centre-based long-day care, vacation care, and before and after school care. There was disappointment several years ago when the centre ceased its longstanding role co-ordinating family day care in the region.
"The EOI calls for experienced not-for-profit child care providers to operate the child care service independently of council from the existing site. The EOI is available through Tenderlink, accessible via council’s website," Mr Cheetham said.
Mr Cheetham said the council acknowledged the importance of having a child care service in the Derwent Valley and had designed the EOI for that to continue. "Council remains committed to existing staff and to providing local jobs," he said.
"The EOI requires the new provider to offer employment to all permanent staff and requires services to be offered from the existing site for the next 10 years. Council was required to make speedy arrangements after being informed that the current operator, Uniting Care, would not be renewing their contract," Mr Cheetham said. Uniting Care has managed the Valley Children's Centre since 2015 but will not continue after June 30.
"Council believes that contracting with an established provider will enable high-quality child care services to be delivered to the Derwent Valley community and will enhance the service provided to existing parents and their children," he said.
Mr Cheetham said the council had informed the Department of Education about the change and would keep the department informed throughout the process. "Uniting Care will work with council to ensure a smooth transition to a new provider," he said.