Long day care for $70 a day is “the answer to a prayer” for Sydney parents
The advent of “running costs only” long day care (LDC) services in Sydney, provided by the newly established Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services (SCECS) is “the answer to a prayer” for families accessing the services, The Catholic Weekly has reported.
The first of such services, the St Therese Catholic Preschool & Long Day Care centre at Sadleir, marks the beginning of a new era, with plans for the Archdiocese of Sydney to offer affordable childcare in partnership with parishes and Catholic schools to achieve key educational milestones.
As well as providing at cost early childhood education and care, the centres will “promote the pastoral outreach of parish and school communities by supporting the lifelong needs of families with young children,” The Catholic Weekly said.
Hinting at how an at cost model would be sustainable in lower socioeconomic areas, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, the Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP told The Weekly “we aspire to be everywhere in Sydney with more prosperous areas assisting poorer ones”.
The flagship site caters for 40 children aged three to five, and will shortly be joined by sister sites in Auburn, Austral, Bonnyrigg and Caringbah. Students studying early childhood education at the University of Notre Dame and the Australian Catholic University may also complete placements at the sites, which will allow them to observe religious education for young children.
SCECS Head Franceyn O’Connor told The Weekly the Sadleir-Miller centre is the first such facility aimed at ensuring that all young families have access to affordable early childhood services.
Through offering a not for profit LDC option, SCECS “is trying to reduce the financial stress families are facing due to soaring childcare costs,” Ms O’Connor said, adding that finances should never be a barrier limiting a child’s access to early education.
With Sydney parents facing the nations highest costs for long day care, the move towards a “costs only model” will be watched by approved providers servicing the area with interest.
Fees at SCECS range between $70 and $90 a day, depending on hours used, before the application of Child Care Subsidy.