Thursday, 10 September 2020
Time is ticking for the Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, who currently has no plan for the early learning sector post September.
The Morrison Government ripped JobKeeper away from early educators in July, replacing it with a Transitional Payment paid straight to providers that expires on 28 September.
We are now into the second week of September and have heard nothing from the Minister about his plan for the sector beyond this month.
Throughout the pandemic, this Minister has continually left the sector in limbo, flinging them from one set of confusing and ill-conceived arrangements to another.
Early educators and providers, many of whom are female small business owners, are in the dark yet again about what arrangements will be in place in less than three weeks’ time.
The early learning sector needs a sensible plan from the Morrison Government to help them navigate this crisis over the coming months and into 2021.
We have also heard nothing from the Minister about his plan for the Activity Test, which is set to resume for families on 4 October.
Labor called for the easing of the Activity Test during this crisis, as we knew it would be a significant barrier for many families to access childcare in this time of high unemployment and underemployment.
A decision to snap-back to the Activity Test in October would be made under the false assumption that this crisis is over.
By the Morrison Government’s own admission, Australia is yet to see the full force of the unemployment crisis – with 400,000 Australians expected to join the unemployment queue by Christmas.
We are still very much in the midst of this recession, and early educators, providers and families need a plan from the Morrison Government to get them through.