childcare

BHP has officially launched the Childcare Leadership Alliance at childcare centres in Dysart and Moranbah – a community-led Smart Transformation project supported by BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) its own independent board of volunteers. 

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance Broadmeadow Mine General Manager, Mick Thomas, said the Alliance relies on the community working with industry and engaging with governments to strategically address the sector-wide and diverse issues affecting childcare locally.

“It will achieve its objectives by continuing to be led by the community, acting in partnership with industry and government and most importantly with the sector it aims to serve.”

Mr Thomas is especially proud of the commitment from the community that has made this joint effort such a success so far.

“I congratulate everyone who has contributed along the journey to this Childcare Leadership Alliance launch, and particularly acknowledge the incredible groundwork of the Smart Transformation Advisory Councils, and more recently the expertise and professionalism provided by Mel Comerford and her team at Astute,” Mr Thomas said.

Childcare management consultant Mel Comerford, has been appointed to help set up the Childcare Leadership Alliance.

Ms Comerford said the fact that childcare centres in Moranbah and Dysart are working together to solve their staffing challenges makes this an exciting time for the childcare industry.

“In Moranbah and Dysart, the issues of childcare staff retention are amplified by a shortage of housing, so we’re looking at solutions to that issue, as part of the approach as well,” Ms Comerford said.

“Professional development is also a big attraction strategy, so we’re working towards training and support too.”

Moranbah business owner and Smart Transformation Advisory Council member Melissa Westcott has been a key driver of the project and is now chairing the Alliance Board.

Ms Westcott said improving childcare availability and reliability in Moranbah and Dysart will help fill unprecedented job vacancies including full-time, part-time and casual roles across all industries – skilled and unskilled.

“It’s about ensuring access to employment for anyone who wants to have employment. But it’s also taking into account the fact that most people in our towns don’t have extended families here; we have no support networks,” Ms Westcott said.

“Childcare becomes a key part of families’ mental wellbeing and the support we need to live in our communities, because you do not have grandparents accessible to look after children, especially in these towns. It’s accessible childcare for whoever wants it.”

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