Thursday, 02 April 2020
Labor welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement this afternoon in regards to early education and care. We will be consulting with providers about the measures and will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Labor has for weeks been calling for the Government to provide fee relief for families and urgent support to prevent the collapse of the early learning sector.
Many Australian families were already struggling to pay child care fees prior to the current crisis, and this has only been made worse as many parents have lost income. Today’s long-awaited announcement of fee relief is welcomed.
Providers have been desperately asking the Government for increased support over the past fortnight, as their revenue has been slashed by plummeting enrolments. Labor sincerely hopes today’s announcement of guaranteed income for providers will be enough to save centres from permanently closing their doors.
The Government has promised their Jobkeeper Payment will support providers to retain their early educators. It is absolutely vital that every early learning provider will be able to access the Jobkeeper Payment, and we will be working closely with the sector to ensure this is the case.
Labor also welcomes the announcement of funding for preschool for another year. Labor continues to call for long-term preschool funding, rather than continued one-year rollovers that leave the sector and families in limbo.
Early childhood education is absolutely critical to our country and economy, both now and into the future.
During the crisis, early educators are doing the important work of educating and caring for the children of essential service workers. After the crisis, early educators will do the important work of providing education and care so parents can return to work and contribute to our economy.
Labor will continue to ensure families, early educators and providers are adequately supported during and after this crisis.