Statement on early learning and care measures

Monday, 23 March 2020

Labor welcomes the measures announced by the Government to further support families and early learning centres during the COVID-19 crisis.

However, we remain concerned they do not go far enough to ensure the long term viability of the sector.

Labor will be consulting with providers about the measures and will be monitoring the situation closely, but we are already aware of number of concerns from the sector.

In the short term, there remains significant uncertainty about whether early learning centres will remain open or will be required to close at the same time schools do.

Whilst the continued payment of the child care subsidy to services directed to close is an important measure, there is confusion about whether centres who voluntarily close will continue to receive the payments. There are also questions around how services will be able to stay open if families choose to cease enrolment of their children over the coming weeks and months.

Whilst Labor understands the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are rapidly evolving, the Government must clearly, swiftly and effectively address the potential disastrous impact on the early learning sector.

The Government must do everything possible to ensure we do not emerge from the other side of this crisis facing the permanent closure of early learning centres.

Labor urges the Morrison Government to listen to the sector and provide the necessary support to ensure early learning centres remain viable during this challenging time.

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