Great Ocean Road Health

Apollo Bay Child Care Service Celebrates Their New Entrance

3rd June 2024


Improvements have been made to the wonderful Child Care Service in Pengilley Avenue, Apollo Bay, and the Community “couldn’t be happier” says Marie Sinclair and Josephine Barr, who jointly operate the centre.

After months of work, Spence Constructions have successfully renovated a new front entry to the Child Care Service, now separate from the Apollo Bay Medical Centre, including a new entry pathway, pergola, bike shed, welcome area, office space, front fence and safety gate.

Childcare families and staff are now able to use the new front entry and are “really happy” says Josephine. “We’ve received 100% positive feedback on the new entrance.”

Marie says “Darcy Howard from Spence Constructions has been wonderful; he has been so respectful to the children’s needs and works around rest times. The children have loved watching the builder’s work.”

This renovation project is part of a larger scale renovation to the Apollo Bay Medical Centre and Community Services building owned by Great Ocean Road Health. This project aims to meet the growing needs of the Apollo Bay community by providing a stateof-the-art facility to accommodate our GP’s, trainees and visiting specialists.

Marie says “we’re extremely happy it’s worked very well.

”The biggest supporters of the development works were undoubtedly the Apollo Bay Childcare children who were in awe by the windows as they watched the concrete trucks and Spence Construction team work away.Apollo Bay Child Care Service has now signed a 5 year lease agreement with Great Ocean Road Health.

Great Ocean Road Health Project Manager, Kerry Bubica says “it’s been wonderful to collaborate with the Child Care Centre and to continue to build ourrelationship and the ongoing support of the service for our community”.

Marie and Josephine have had a long relationship with the health service in Apollo Bay, spanning over 20 years. They both worked for Otway Health (now Great Ocean Road Health).

Marie says “thank you GORH, the process has been seamless.

Kerry has been wonderful liaising with all stakeholders. The communications process has been great.” “This means we have stability for the next 5 years, parents will have increased confidence in the service, and it provides job security for staff” says Marie. Josephine and Marie hope this encourages more people to apply to become staff members so they can reopen additional child care rooms and offer child care places to more families in need in Apollo Bay. Josephine and Marie also hope to continue minor refurbishment works to the Child Care Service to continue to modernise the interior of the building.

Apollo Bay Child Care Services has applied for a grant with Colac Otway Shire to have a new sign installed at the new front entrance. They are also lobbying local council to extend the 40km speed zone closer to the Child Care Service to ensure the safety of the children and their families.

As the only child care centre in town, the centre is oversubscribed and understaffed. There is a real community need for more staff, new rooms to be opened and to assist local families by offering additional childcare placements. With the rise in cost of living, across Apollo Bay there is a shortage of housing for local and essential workers. Both Marie and Josie are no longer able to live in town and commute for nearly and hour each way to continue working and managing the Child Care Service in Apollo Bay.

Child Care Children next to bike shed

Link to Great Ocean Road Health website

For more information, contact Great Ocean Road Health on (03) 5237 8500.