BHP has partnered with the YMCA Early Learning Centres in Port Hedland and Newman to help ensure better access to quality early childhood education and care.

Prior to this initiative, both the Newman and Hedland centres had a waitlist of 18-months or more.

Now, Port Hedland’s centre has almost doubled its available capacity, significantly reducing its waitlist, and Newman has no waitlist at all.

The YMCA Early Learning Centres partnership is in addition to the significant progress BHP has made through its partnership with Child Australia, which has been in place since 2020.

Through Child Australia’s Thriving Futures program, BHP has helped expand access to childcare by attracting and retaining residential staff in the Pilbara, through wage subsidies and scholarships.

Under Thriving Futures, 65 candidates have been employed in participating childcare centres since 2020, with a retention rate of more than 72 per cent. In addition, the program has:

  • Delivered 209 hours of onsite consulting with staff across participating centres.
  • Provided 79 candidates with formal mentoring including one-on-one support from a dedicated mentor.
  • Supported 39 scholarship recipients.

BHP Manager Community WA Rachel Donkin said: “We understand how important access to quality early childhood education and care is for our communities.

“BHP is proud to partner with Child Australia and YMCA to make it a reality for more families in the Pilbara.”