THE joy and laughter of children at play provided a fitting backdrop to Minya Porlar Creche’s community farewell last month, with the Murray Bridge service ceasing operation in mid-December.

Imperial Football Club hosted an afternoon of fun, games and even a petting zoo, as creche families and staff, both past and present, came together to reminisce on almost 22 years of service.

ac.care announced in September 2022 that despite working to secure the long-term future of the creche for many years, its ongoing operation had proven unfeasible.

The centre was serving around 18 families at the time its closure was announced with the agency working to support their transition into other childcare services.

The decision impacted five regular staff and additional casual employees, whose contribution and connection to the community was highlighted at the farewell event.

In a touching tribute, local resident Gloria Ebsworth spoke of her 14-year connection to the creche, which helped care and support three of her children.

“To ac.care, thank you for running a beautiful program for our families,” Ms Ebsworth said.

“The staff have been amazing,” she added.

“I want to say thank you for caring for our kids throughout the years and loving them, giving them a safe space.”

“You will be truly missed by the community.”

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A ceremonial cake cutting was carried out by ac.care child care services director Meri Daniel, who has provided over 20 years of service to the agency.

Mr Maddocks said despite the creche being a relatively small service, it had provided the Murray Bridge community with a sense of family and support.

“We are immensely proud of the achievements of the creche over the past two decades of service to the Murray Bridge community, especially the dedicated staff and management who have provided local opportunities for families to access childcare, with a special focus on connection to Ngarrindjeri culture,” Mr Maddocks said.

The centre modelled best practice in Aboriginal-specific child care through opportunities for children to experience local language, a nutrition program, natural play environments, links with other community based programs and cultural experiences focused on the Ngarrindjeri nation on which the creche operated.

Explaining the “enormously challenging” decision to wind down the service, Mr Maddocks said the building on Gail Crescent was unable to meet new Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority Safety and Quality standards announced in early 2022 due to deficits relating to indoor spaces, sleeping spaces, bathrooms and changing facilities.

Challenges recruiting qualified staff in a competitive environment also contributed to the closure, as well as the growth of alternative childcare services in the community, which had reduced the need for the service.

ac.care Locations

ac.care is a dynamic organisation servicing the South Australian communities the Limestone Coast, Murraylands, Riverland, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula.

Our mission is for all country people to have a safe home, enough money to live on and strong, positive relationships.

Please find our service locations here or use our contact form to request a service.

Mount Gambier
Head office and Foster Care

70-72 White Avenue Mount Gambier, SA 5290
PO Box 1842 Mount Gambier SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Community Centre

22-24 Ferrers Street Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Mount Gambier
Family Relationship Centre

1 Helen Street (cnr Bay Road) Mount Gambier, SA 5290
Monday
9am to 5pm
Tuesday
10:30am to 5pm
Wednesday
9am to 5pm
Thursday
9am to 5pm
Later by appt
Friday
9am to 5pm

Berri Community Centre
Servicing the Riverland

5 Kealley Street Street Berri, SA 5343
PO Box 1345 Berri, SA 5343
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm

Murraylands Centre
Servicing the Murraylands, Adelaide Hills and Fleurieu Peninsula

29 Bridge Street Murray Bridge, SA 5253
PO Box 2090 Murray Bridge, SA 5253
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm

Millicent
Community Centre

57-59 George Street Millicent, SA 5280
PO Box 378 Millicent, SA 5280
Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm
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