Centre helped migrant mums make ends meet

Miss Italy 1973, Christine Bertelli, with children from the Italian Australian Child Care Centre, 1973.

THIS week the archivists from the Vincent Local History Centre are calling out for stories from people who attended the Italian Australian Childcare Centre, the long-running North Perth institution that cared for the influx of Italian children as migrant mothers adapted to changing times and took to the workforce. 

TUCKED away on Barnet Street in North Perth, the Italian Australian Child Care Centre has been caring for kids for more than 50 years.

It was established in the early 1970s to provide low-cost child care for Italian migrant families in the North Perth area.

The 1950s and 1960s were the heyday of Italian migration to Western Australia, with many Italians settling in and around North Perth.

Italian migrant women were keen to work outside their homes to help their families make ends meet and get ahead.

Italian Australian Child Care Centre, Barnet Street, North Perth, mid-1970s.

Low-cost child care helped make it possible for many Italian migrant women to enter the workforce.

The Italian Australian Child Care Centre, initially named ‘Asilo Nido, Emma Majoli’, was built by the Italo-Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre between 1970-1971, with its first intake of children in 1972.

The centre was built after many years of community fundraising events, with proceeds from the annual ‘Miss Italy Quest’ vital to its establishment.

Over the past five decades, many thousands of children and families have been cared for at the centre.

If you have memories of attending the centre, please get in touch with the Vincent Local History Centre at local. history@vincent.wa.gov.au

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