Council decision on Atherton After School Care Program
Thursday 20 April 2017
Yarra Council has decided to close its Atherton After School Care program in Fitzroy from July 2017 and assist the small number of families using the service to transition to other programs.
Council made the difficult decision after a review showed that the program has had very low attendance rates for several years.
In reviewing the service, Council consulted local families and discovered that the program is poorly attended, in part, because there are many other after school activities in Fitzroy. The nearby Fitzroy Swimming Pool, Fitzroy Library, the Cubbies program at the Fitzroy Adventure Playground and the Breakfast Club at the Connie Benn Early Learning Centre are generally well attended, with several being offered at low or no cost, and parents indicating these programs are better suited their needs before and after school.
Low participation in the Atherton Gardens After School program has been concerning to Council because we know that children learn, grow and socialise better when they are around other children.
Council’s ongoing support for children’s services
Council funds a number of activities and supports for children in the Atherton Gardens area, including via the Connie Benn Early Learning Centre, Yarra Youth Centre and Fitzroy Library.
It has also confirmed its ongoing support for the Cubbies program at the Fitzroy Adventure Playground referring an amount of $150,000 per annum to the budget for the program in 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Council will continue to monitor the needs of children and families to determine whether additional funding and support for other activities in the area is required in the future.
Importantly, Yarra remains fully committed to supporting local families by providing, high-quality programs and services.
Council is working with families currently enrolled in the Atherton Gardens After School Care program to find alternative care arrangements before the start of third term, 2017.
Staff from the program have made a valuable contribution to the program and will continue work with local families by transitioning to other programs run by Council.