Springwood Children’s Centre to sell and expand to survive

On the move: Springwood Children's Centre manager Barbara Povic with student Kaydi Christie, 12, from Faulconbridge, and teacher Dawn Meredith.

On the move: Springwood Children's Centre manager Barbara Povic with student Kaydi Christie, 12, from Faulconbridge, and teacher Dawn Meredith.

The not-for-profit Springwood Children’s Centre is selling its home of 30 years in a last-ditch attempt to keep it afloat.

It’s planned to use funds from the sale to rent a bigger property where staff can offer more services and get ahead financially.

The centre, in a prime Springwood location, will go on the market in mid-December. It provides remedial literacy, numeracy, speech and music therapy for 35-40 children with a learning disability, with plans to expand their speech therapy services and bring an occupational therapist on board.

Since the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the centre has been struggling to make ends meet.

Centre manager Barbara Povic said $54,000 in funding through the Department of Family and Community Services had kept the centre open for the 2015-16 financial year, but under the NDIS funding had dried up.

She said many of the kids do not have a disability regarded as severe enough for an individualised NDIS plan, but still needed extra help.

She said the centre sat between funding available for disability and education, touching both but not falling directly in either category, which made it difficult to secure funding. 

With a new committee and renewed energy, they have decided to fight on rather than fold.

“There is too much still to do in the community, too many kids who need our help, so we are fighting on,” Mrs Povic said.

“Our staff love their work and are determined to keep us open and help our kids.”

Staff are so passionate about the centre’s survival, one staff member has just taken out an overdraft to cover the centre’s costs until the building is sold.

The hope is to find a building close to the Springwood town centre with four or five rooms, so the centre can expand to offer more services after school and earlier in the day. But it would also consider other locations with easy rail access like Blaxland.

If you can help the centre find a new home, contact Mrs Povic on 4751 4642.

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