CHILDCARE centres across Orange are set to be governed under a national framework delivering more one-on-one care to children aged under two years.
From January 1, a maximum of four children in this age group will be cared for by one staff member, an improvement on the previous one to five ratio.
The change in staff to child ratio for children aged 0-two years was announced in 2008, with childcare centres given until the start of 2012 to implement changes.
Goodstart Orange childcare centre director Raelene Murrells said they have already implemented the changes but it resulted in two less places for children in this age group.
Mrs Murrells said despite the drop from 10 down to eight places, the move is good for the quality of care that can be delivered.
“It is a good thing for childcare and the less children we have the better the quality of childcare,” she said.
Director of their north Orange centre Mick Wallace said they have been able to maintain their 30 places for this age group despite implementing the change in ratio 12 months ago.
“It’s better for the children with that age group, it’s a better ratio,” he said.
The Willows Preschool and Early Learning Centre director Cathy Carroll said they decided to increase staff numbers, rather than drop places for children, to cope with the new ratio.
However with new staff came an increased cost for care of children up to 24 months, prices have increased from $79 a day up to $84.
Mrs Carroll said parents were not happy with the forced ratio change and subsequent price increase for childcare, “they felt the one to five ratio was adequate”.
She said while parents felt “why fix something that wasn’t broken,” staff believe it will provide better care for babies.
Orange City Council corporate and community relations manager Nick Redmond said all council run childcare centres will be “ready to comply” when the new ration commences for January 1.
No other childcare centres were available for comment when contacted yesterday.