LAST CHANCE: CQ kindy crying out for a teacher
IT HAS now become a very real prospect that Theodore will be without a kindergarten program for 2020 and beyond.
Despite actively advertising for two years, the Theodore Early Childhood Centre has failed to lure a new kindergarten teacher for the foreseeable future.
Applications closed for the part-time position (five days per fortnight) on January 13 and now the Theodore community has a nervous wait to see if there is any applicants for the position.
Jess Weimar from the Theodore Early Childhood Centre said that it would be a big blow to her community if the kindergarten position can’t be filled.
“Losing this service will be very sad for our town,” Mrs Weimer said.
“Kindy is not yet compulsory but everyone that has had their kid enrolled in kindy has realised how important it is to start a child’s education.
“Kid’s will have to travel a great distance if we don’t have it in Theodore.”
Concerned at the possibility of her 4-year-old son not being able to attend kindy in Theodore, Jane Conway said other parents in her position are almost out of options.
“Personally our option is to complete eKindy or not at all,” Mrs Conway said.
“There will be many families who would not qualify for eKindy so they would miss out completely.
“Education is a basic need and to not have that as an option is devastating.”
eKindy is a Queensland Government ‘at home’ kindergarten program for children in the year before Prep.
The Theodore Early Childhood Centre’s outgoing Kindergarten teacher Mrs Tweed came out of retirement initially on a six-month contract but has had to work for the past three years when a replacement was unable to be found.
“For us it’s frustrating not being able to tell parents who the kindy teacher is and what’s happening with the program,’ Mrs Weimer said.
“I’ve been here for three years and it’s a wonderful community to be a part of and there's’ plenty of support for the childhood centre.
“You’re not doing this alone as a kindy teacher, there are a lot of people in town willing to help this service continue to run.”
To compound the matter, Mrs Weimer with her local knowledge said that Theodore is anticipated to experience a baby boom in the coming years.
“We can take up to 20 kids and we’re already locked in to fill three quarters of that amount for the next three years,” Mrs Weimer said.
“Looking at our numbers we are going to have consistently high numbers for the next few years.
“This is based on our current numbers in our childcare in the younger years and based off knowing how many people in town are having babies.”
Callide MP Colin Boyce said the Education Department needs to look at creating attractive jobs and encouraging teachers to rural posts.
“This problem is not limited to the Callide electorate, there are many other rural towns in the same boat,” Mr Boyce said.
“These are fantastic communities to live in and I encourage any early childhood graduates to seriously consider a rural posting and to apply for the positions advertised on the Queensland Government Smart Jobs website.”
Any interested applicants should contact the Queensland Department of Education.
The Education Department advertised the part-time position (five days per fortnight) for Theodore on December 10.