Letter to the Editor published in the Gold Coast Bulletin 12/1/2018 (abridged)
We are the educators at a small community kindergarten on the beachfront in Broadbeach.
We would like to express our concerns at the parking changes soon to be implemented in the area surrounding our kindergarten.
Council has approved a large number of highrise developments in our area. We appreciate the need for development and the works that have to be completed before the opening of the Commonwealth Games – but we implore the Council to not compromise on the safety of our children when continuing to approve development.
Council has notified us that both three and four hour regulated parking will soon be implemented but has set aside 56 unregulated car spaces to be used by community organisation – including the carpark adjacent to our kindergarten which we share with the Soccer Club, the Croquet Club, the Arts Society and the Bowls Club. However, these spaces are now used by local tradespeople and are full every weekday by 6am. This will only worsen once regulated parking is introduced leaving us with no off-street parking and safe access to our kindergarten jeopardised.
Council has provided 5 drop-off zones between the hours of 8.30 – 9.30am and 2.15-3.15pm which we welcomed but tradespeople continue to use these spaces between these hours.
We have approached the developers of the complexes around us as well as the tradespeope parking in the car park and surrounding roads to be aware of the need for children to have safe access to our kindergarten, but our pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
Our centre is not a (commercial) childcare centre. We operate to school terms, have only two educators employed and one part-time administrator. We cater for 44 children per week, with 22 children attending each day. Our staff/child ratio must comply with regulations at one educator for every 11 children.
We have explained to council that should we, as educators, be unable to park in the unregulated car park we would then be required to move our cars every three or four hours. This would mean 22 children being left in the care of just one qualified educator.
Should one educator leave the centre to move their car to comply with council regulations and an incident with one of our children occur we would be subject to legal action due to failure to comply with legislation.
Our final correspondence with the Mayor’s representative was received on December 18, 2017. We were informed at the end of the correspondence, “due to the level of resources and time the city has already invested in responding to the Broadbeach Kindergarten communications, the Mayor has advised that this will be the City’s final response on this matter”.
Yours, Kathryne Powell, Libby Power and Danielle Sorrensen, Broadbeach Kindergarten.