Twins Montana and Jaxon Reinke, both 4, with Prep assistant Tammy Foelz at Mulberry Tree in Raceview.
Twins Montana and Jaxon Reinke, both 4, with Prep assistant Tammy Foelz at Mulberry Tree in Raceview. Claudia Baxter

Catering to a growing need

AN Australian Government report on the state of child care in Australia, published in April last year, shows that the number of children using a child care facility across the nation rose from 256,326 in 1991 to 871,107 in 2010.

The report was commissioned by the department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations through its Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care.

It identified that child care is now seen as both a mechanism to support labour force participation and as an important form of early learning and education.

Ipswich has many fine centres. Among them is the Play and Learn Early Learning Centre at the corner of Raceview St and Cemetery Rd, Raceview.

Known as the Mulberry Tree to locals, the established centre was taken over by owners Rachel and David Procida.

The centre operates from 6.30am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday, 52 weeks a year.

"We built our first centre seven years ago," co-owner Rachel Procida said. "It's always about high-quality facilities and staff with a focus on education."

They know first-hand what it means to raise children - they have three themselves - and this experience informs the way they do business.

Celebrating its second birthday recently, the centre continues to grow in popularity and attracts people from outside the area as its reputation is widely known.

"We do get a lot of people travelling to get to us because of our reputation. We kept the Mulberry Tree name when we took over as it was well known. It came from the fact that there is a mulberry tree on the property," Mrs Procida said.

Play and Learn Early Learning Centre at Raceview takes children from 15 months to school age.


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