Have van, will travel at Blue Mountains Occasional Care

There’s a child care service in the Blue Mountains with an unusual claim to fame.

Blue Mountains Occasional Care says they are the only mobile occasional care service in NSW.

Each week the dedicated staff fill their trusty van with toys and travel from one end of the Mountains to the other.

They are based out of the community centres in Blaxland and Lawson, and the Baptist Church Hall in Blackheath.

“We provide flexible, affordable education and care to children while their parents either take a well-deserved break from the demands of parenting, attend an appointment, or work or study from home to help them get back into the workforce,” said co-ordinator Cathryn Ferreira.

Operating for more than 15 years, the service is run by Mountains Outreach Community Service, a not-for-profit community service, reaching out to vulnerable and isolated families and children.

It caters for children aged four months to six years.

Late last year the service received a $2500 donation from Bendigo Bank to replace the tired and unsafe children's tables and chairs at their Blaxland venue.

The children are now happily using the new tables and chairs.

Mrs Ferreira said the Blue Mountains City Council had also been generous in supporting the service in supplying and maintaining the van used to transport the educational equipment.

“The staff ... are very excited as we are due very soon to receive a new van from council,” Mrs Ferreira said.

The three-day-a-week service also relies on state government funding. Mrs Ferreira said they had applied to increase their hours of operation from 4.5 to five hours and expected to hear in April if this had been approved.

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