The Parenthood calls for urgent national action to support early learning through Omicron outbreak.
The Parenthood is calling on the National Cabinet to implement additional measures to keep early learning and child care services open, safe and supported as a matter of urgency.
There are currently more than 400 services closed and many more running at reduced capacity. Services, educators, families and children are stranded, trying to navigate inconsistent rules and surging COVID-19 exposure.
To minimise the worst impacts of the latest COVID-19 surge and support this critical sector The Parenthood is calling for:
Clear guidelines and protocols for contact exposure, isolation requirements and for return to work or care after isolation.
Free Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) for educators and families to minimise exposure at early learning services..
- A 85 per cent subsidy guarantee to ensure educators can be paid, including those unable to work because of exposure.
The Parenthood’s Executive Director Georgie Dent said the importance of early learning to children and the community, the strain the pandemic has placed on this sector and that children under 5 cannot access a vaccine, make urgent action absolutely critical.
“We are calling on the Federal Government and National Cabinet to provide the necessary support that will ensure early childhood education and care remains safe and viable. It’s of fundamental significance to the education and development of children, but also the continuity of essential services.
“When parents cannot access care for their children they cannot go to work. With the current workforce shortages around the country any further disruption is significant,” Dent said.
“It is incredibly disappointing that services, educators and parents are once again left scrambling for certainty and begging for support.
“A national plan for supporting early education and care services, educators, families and children through this period is a critical and urgent imperative.”
MEDIA CONTACT: For interviews with Executive Director Georgie Dent call 0400 437 434
A not-for-profit organisation The Parenthood is Australia’s leading parent advocacy group with a reach of more than 72,000 parents from across Australia.