NSW Premier commits $82m to support council ECEC centres in wake of JobKeeper omission
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has committed up to $82 million in funding to support 260 council early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across the state who are not eligible to participate in the JobKeeper payment package.
The news comes after Local Government NSW’s peak body expressed grave concerns at the future viability of council run services and Georges River Council confirmed the closure of two of its six services and a move to a three day week for a third due to JobKeeper package omission.
Ms Berejiklian’s council service funding announcement was part of a broader initiative that will see free preschool/kindergarten extended for families for the next six months via a further funding package of $51 million.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning Sarah Mitchell said the funding means community preschools and council childcare centres would be required to remain open, unless they are closed on health advice.
NSW at this juncture appears to be the only state that has thus far stepped up to support Council run services.