Labor has today written to the Government to urgently provide clarity and advice to Australian families and early learning providers during this difficult and uncertain period.
Whilst Labor understands the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are rapidly evolving, the Government must address the increasing anxiety in the community and early education and care sector regarding potential flow on effects.
There are a number of legitimate concerns being raised by both families and the sector, in particular:-
- In the event that a child has to self-isolate, under current child care subsidy arrangements the family will still be required to pay fees. This will be a substantial financial burden for families, during a time when many parents face the prospect of not working and potentially not receiving income.
- If early learning centres are required to waive fees in the event that a child has to self-isolate or an entire centre is temporarily closed, this will have a devastating impact on providers. These providers will lose all revenue and still be expected to pay the salaries and wages of staff.
- It has been made clear by providers that the Government’s announcement that providers can receive $10,000 cash grants from the Community Child Care Fund is insufficient, as monthly staff payrolls alone are many times greater than this amount.
It is vital that the Morrison Government urgently intervenes to provide certainty, ensure families are not worse off and ensure the sector remains viable during this challenging time.