Thank you to everyone who submitted a response to the Stage 2 community consultation on the children’s services draft policy recommendations. Stage 2 consultation closed on 7 May 2019.

The Stage 2 Community Engagement Report (PDF 1.23 MB) and Appendices (PDF 5.1 MB) details the feedback received during the consultation.

Councillors received this report and submissions at 29 May 2019 Council Meeting.

No decisions have been made about the policy.

Councillors are considering community feedback and options and have been visiting children’s services in Port Phillip to get a better understanding of how different services operate and help them make decisions about Council’s role. They are expected to decide on a final policy at the Council meeting on 4 September 2019.

We heard from over 500 people during the consultation, including more than 450 survey responses and over 40 submissions from individuals and organisations.

Main findings from the consultation:

  • natural environments and universal access are the two most important policy areas (objective 1 and objective 7)
  • strong support for community-run centres
  • strong support for small centres and opposition to introducing a minimum number of places
  • strong support for not-for-profit services (either Council-run or community-run)
  • preference that Council-run childcare services continue to be operated by Council
  • low support for transitioning existing childcare assets to operate as kindergartens
  • low support for changes to the childcare waitlist
  • low support for centralised kindergarten enrolment.

Background to the policy

During the development of our new policy, we’ve been working closely with families, children and the early years’ sector to understand how we can collectively shape the future of childcare, kindergartens, playgroups and toy libraries in Port Phillip.

In 2018 we shared the challenges and opportunities involved with children’s services and asked for your ideas for improvement (Stage 1 community engagement). Your ideas informed the objectives in the new policy and then we developed policy recommendations to achieve those. We consulted on these draft policy recommendations in early 2019 (Stage 2 community engagement).