Goodstart confirms strong attendance growth as it extends support to essential workers
Goodstart Early Learning, Australia’s largest early learning provider, has confirmed a 37 per cent increase in attendances nationally over the three weeks ending 1 May 2020, as demand for early childhood education and care services (ECEC) from essential workers picks up and as ongoing efforts to accommodate children experiencing vulnerability continues.
The reported increases in attendances have varied across individual states with Queensland reporting the largest increase with 3,700 children, followed by Victoria with an increase of 3,260 children, New South Wales with an increase of 2,200 children, Western Australia with an increase of 1,430 children, South Australia an increase of 1,000 children and Tasmania an increase of 220 children.
Commenting, Julia Davison CEO of Goodstart said “While children are beginning to return to early learning and care, we are working to ensure every child of an essential services worker has a place at our centre.”
The attendance momentum experienced in late April has continued into May as schools reopen in South Australia and Western Australia, combined with additional essential worker demand from other states which has seen attendances across the Group rise another 10 per cent last week.
Ms Davison noted that “The support the Federal Government has given us during the COVID-19 crisis has been absolutely vital in allowing us to keep our centres open” and that as an organisation they continue to work hard to ensure that essential workers are receiving the support they need.
Looking ahead Goodstart also confirmed that enquiries for new bookings had been significant, with over 1,500 families enquiring about care last week alone, and that they expected enquiries to continue in the weeks ahead as confidence returns to businesses and households in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our centres are working to meet the needs of new families and if they can’t provide a place they are talking to nearby centres to help identify a place for these families,” Ms Davison said before adding “there’s never been a more important time for early learning centres to be providing high quality, safe and hygienic care and early learning.”
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