Early learning and childcare providers, and educators, are in crisis during Sydney’s extended lockdown but the Prime Minister and Education Minister Alan Tudge won’t budge on offering the vital, urgent support they need, according to the Parenthood.
The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent wrote to the Prime Minister and Minister Tudge last week urgently request Commonwealth financial support for early childhood education and care providers in Greater Sydney during lockdown.
While providers are permitted to waive the gap fee for children who cannot attend, and keep the Child Care Subsidy, which is welcome financial relief for families, this places unsustainable financial pressure on providers, including Long Day Care, Out-of-School-Hours Care and Family Day Care services.
“The early learning and childcare situation in Greater Sydney right now is nothing short of a crisis,” Ms Dent said.
“Both the Prime Minister and Minister Tudge are looking the other way as the pressure builds on early learning and childcare providers who are left to absorb the cost of the covid crisis and extended Sydney lockdown.
“With absences around 70% in the most affected LGAs, and around 30% across the rest of Sydney, serious questions are emerging about the ongoing financial impact on providers and how educators will continue to be paid.
“Last year, the Federal Government provided a childcare recovery package with targeted support for Victorian families and providers of centre-based day care, family day care and in-home care in light of the second wave lockdown.
“We urgently need a similar package for ongoing support for the early learning and care sector in Greater Sydney who are providing an essential service and supporting parents and families.
“Australian governments must also provide long-term, wholesale reform around the way in which early learning is funded and delivered in Australia, with universal, high-quality and affordable early learning and childcare,” Ms Dent said.
MEDIA CONTACT: For interviews with Executive Director Georgie Dent call 0400 437 434