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The award winning Indigo Early Learning Centre team. The award winning Indigo Early Learning Centre team. Featured
28 May 2024 Posted by 


Taking pressure off shift workers
A CENTRAL Coast childcare centre owner is taking a bold step on what she calls a “childcare crisis” opening her facility on Saturdays and increasing capacity to help local families.
Indigo Early Learning Centre director Hannah Crossley said there is “a pressing shortage of childcare options” for working families on the coast which is why she is offering “potential solutions” for them.
“In response to the childcare crisis, our team at Indigo ELC brainstormed and implemented two key initiatives by increasing our licensing capacity and introducing Saturday services,” Mrs Crossley said.
“Opening on Saturdays is a flexible childcare solution which supports busy working families working non-traditional hours because our feedback from the community is that there is no centre opening on weekends on the coast.
“Parents who are shift workers requiring extra support can be assured there is childcare available, being a parent of three children myself, I know how hard that can be if you’re a working parent.”
The current 79 children capacity for the Indigo ELC facilities at Forresters Beach and Green Point, Mrs Crossley has applied for 116 places or 37 more children.
Mrs Crossley, an early childhood and primary school teacher, opened her own centre 20 years ago.
This year, Indigo ELC has been recognised as the National Winner for Best Childcare Service at the Small Business Championship Awards.
Mrs Crossley is also a finalist in the 2024 National Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year category. In 2023, Indigo ELC was a winner in Childcare Service at the Central Coast Local Business Awards.
“Recently, I had the opportunity to attend a childcare centre owner forum hosted by (Robertson MP) Dr Gordon Reid, which focused on the current childcare crisis,” Mrs Crossley said.
“As the owner, I am committed to advancing progressive early childhood education and care programs that meet the needs of today’s families and children. 
“Understanding the financial pressures on families, we are proud to announce our Saturday services have been approved for the Child Care Subsidy.
“This means eligible families can receive significant financial assistance, reducing the burden of childcare costs and making quality care more accessible to our community.
“We believe this expansion will be a lifeline for those struggling to find reliable and affordable childcare.”
Dr Reid said he initiated the childcare forum because access to early childhood education and care services has become “increasingly difficult” for Central Coast families.
“The availability of early childhood services was a top concern of providers, educators, and families following a forum discussing the sector on the Central Coast recently.
“The federal government is making a concerted effort to address this situation and enable more families to access high-quality ECEC services in the region.”
As part of the government initiatives, Dr Reid said funding is available to enable providers to undertake minor to moderate capital works including repairing, modifying, renovating, or extending existing facilities.
“Additionally, the funding can also be used to improve the viability and financial sustainability of providers’ services.
For more information on childcare centre facilities funding grant for modification and extensions, Dr Reid encourages communities to visit: https://www.education.gov.au/early-childhood/community-child-care-fund/cccf-disadvantaged-and-vulnerable-communities-grant
Families requiring weekend childcare services can visit https://www.indigoelc.com.au/indigo-early-learning-centre-forresters-beach/ or contact Indigo ELC by emailing info@indigoelc.com.au.


Michael Walls
0407 783 413

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