By Joseph Ratcliffe
Centipede, an after-school childcare service in Glebe, has paint on the roof so old that it flakes off and lands in food
Jamie Parker, the State Member for Balmain, recently approved a Community Building Partnership grant application for the repainting of Centipede. Last year, Mr Parker approved another CBP grant for the installation of flooring that replaced the worn and hazardous carpeting.
“It’s important because paint peeling from the ceiling was obviously a health issue. It’s always difficult to raise funds for these types of projects, especially in a community that is struggling financially. It’s always hard to raise money,” he says, adding that it is important to create places where children can enjoy themselves, play and learn.
Kim Payne, Coordinator of Centipede, is responsible for writing the grants to improve the safety of the centre that serves to a wide cultural and socio-economic community.
“A lot of these children have it tough outside these walls,” he says. “As a coordinator for the service, I feel you do your thing while you are here and you leave it in a better state than you found it.”
The children at Centipede are from many cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander children account for 30 per cent, while a further 40 per cent are from non-English speaking backgrounds. The service also has eight children with disabilities who attend on a regular basis.
Many of the children are from the lower end of the socio-economic demographic in Glebe. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2011 Census data for the suburb shows 13.2 per cent of family households have unemployed parents and 26.2 per cent of households earn under $600 per week.
“Our funds go primarily to staffing and food for the children, so it’s nice to be able to tap into a grant specifically to keep the room at a standard that we need for a child-care service,” says Mr Payne.
He estimates that the repainting of the room should be completed by the beginning of the next school term.