Angry parents and staff will converge on Blacktown Council this Wednesday night (October 30),opposing plans to opt out of child care.
United Services Union (USU) has organised a protest at the Village Green at 6pm.
Protesters will then pack council’s public gallery from 7pm to hear councillors debate the topic.
As reported last week, Mayor Len Robinson told the last policy meeting that an independent review recommending the closure of five centres didn’t go far enough.
An amended recommendation will be provided at Wednesday night’s meeting.
As one of the youngest communities in the country, Blacktown families need access to quality, affordable and local child care, according to USU general secretary Graeme Kelly.
“We have heard from parents from some of the centres earmarked for closure that they have already tried to find alternate care with nearby private operators, but there are simply no spaces, meaning some may be forced to stop working because no suitable care will be available for their kids,’’ Mr Kelly said.
“Closing these centres is a short-sighted decision that will be bad for the Blacktown community, and our union will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with local parents in their fight to stop it.”
Meanwhile, the mayor has reiterated comments he wants to council to opt out of child care.
He said 600 children are cared for in council run centres, rather than the USU claims of 1400.
‘‘I play golf, so I see a lot of parents who weren’t happy,’’ Councillor Robinson said.
‘‘But once you have three or four conversations with them, they understand why. All they want is a term’s notice to find somewhere else for their children.’’
He said redundant staff would find other jobs.
‘‘The industry is in need of qualified child care workers,’’ he said.