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$1 charge at occasional care centres in Civic and Manuka to be introduced from 15th June

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The Minister for the Capital Territory, Mr Tony Staley, said today

that the $1 charge at the Occasional Care Centres in Civic and Manuka

would be introduced from 15 June.

The charge, first announced by Mr Staley on 20 May, will be $1 per

child for a session up to three hours. The charge is necessary because

of the substantial rise in operating costs to about $5 per child per

three-hour session.

Mr Staley said the charge would be waived in cases of exceptional

hardship. Those seeking waiver of the fee should apply personally to

the teacher-in-charge.

Mr Staley said the charge would raise $40 000 which would help defray

the costs of what had become an expensive service.

The staffing consisted of two teachers, a nurse and four assistants

at each centre. In addition to staff salaries, costs included amortisa­

tion of the buildings and equipment, cleaning, maintenance, lighting,

heating and laundry charges.

Staff and standards could not be reduced if the Department were to .

provide adequate care for the infants and children who used the centres.

The Sydney and Melbourne City Councils have comparable charges for

their child care services.