Councillors come together to preserve popular preschool FEATURED Medowie, Ferodale, Campvale by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 20, 2017 Passionate staff and committee members after the successful Port Stephens Council Meeting. MEDOWIE Community Preschool has enriched the lives of our young ones with quality education for the last 31 years, founded on the love of community. Modern Media: Advertise with News Of The Area and you get your ad in 1) in Print, 2) on the News Website (like this ad), and 3) on our Social Media news site. A much more efficient way to advertise. Reach a HUGE audience for a LOW price TODAY! Call us on 02 4983 2134. Or [email protected] Or CLICK FOR ADVERT QUOTE The community quite literally planted the roots of this preschool, with the building being funded using only a small amount of council funds, the rest fundraised tirelessly by Medowie community members. This uniquely created preschool, quite unlike the historical story of any other Port Stephens Council run preschool, has been facing a tough situation for the last four years. In 2011, Port Stephens Council introduced the Community Leasing Policy, followed by a Review of Children’s Services in 2012. These changes meant that Port Stephens Council needed the Preschool to sign a new lease that would potentially lead to it being financially unable to continue to provide the current service level. After four long years of contract negotiations, the outcome was still inadequate. The new 2017 committee has worked tirelessly in finding a resolution. Councillor Chris Doohan spent time listening to committee concerns, facilitating meetings with Council staff and the committee, before realising the situation needed a political solution. A notice of motion was put before Council and passed on Tuesday night, ensuring the Community Preschool can continue. President of the Medowie Community Preschool, Jacqui Hrast, told News Of The Area, “Tuesday’s notice of motion secured the long term future of this well loved community service.” “The intent is now for our preschool to move to a 30-year lease, with a much more reasonable rent that reflects its low fees to families and its independance from Council.” “Councillor Doohan’s leadership and support was critical in achieving this outcome and we are extremely grateful to him and the other seven councillors that voted in favour of the motion,” she said. As a final gesture, Cr Doohan proposed that monies already paid by the Pre-school be returned. This option was then added as an amendment to the Notice of Motion and unanimously approved. Cr Doohan asked that this money be utilised to improve parking and access for the disabled. Councillor and Deputy Mayor, Chris Doohan, told News Of The Area, “It is heartwarming to be able to say that one of the memorable things this Council has achieved during this sitting term, is that we have ensured the future of this wonderful preschool is safe, and its legacy will continue.” By Rachael VAUGHAN President Jacqui Hrast and Councillor and Deputy Mayor Chris Doohan outside Medowie Community Preschool with students Elliot and Xavier.