Dan Tehan signals return to CCS amidst “growing demand”, echoing PM’s remarks
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has provided his strongest indication yet that there will be no extension to the ECEC Relief Package, due to cease on 28 June 2020, and that the early childhood education and care sector (ECEC) will revert back to the old funding model, the CCS system, afterwards.
In remarks made to The Sunday Age Mr Tehan said “The success of the rescue package and the success we have had in flattening the curve means we do have to look at how long we want this temporary measure in place and how quickly do we need to change to meet the growing demand”
“We have seen demand increase quite strongly over the last couple of weeks and we are anticipating that will continue to grow especially as schools continue to reopen for face-to-face teaching.”
Mr Tehan’s comments were consistent with remarks made by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday 15 May which also referred to the ECEC Relief Package being a “temporary” arrangement and that the intention was to return to the payment arrangements and subsidy arrangements that had been put in place before the package was put into effect.
Confirmation of the likely switch back to the CCS system comes eight weeks after the ECEC Relief Package was launched and as occupancy levels at services across Australia move higher amidst increasing confidence from families and returning schools.
That being said, although the CCS will be reinstated, it is at this juncture unclear whether the system will be adjusted to reflect a post COVID-19 world which is expected to see unemployment levels spike higher and affordability constrained.
Julia Davison, CEO of Goodstart Early Learning, Australia’s largest ECEC provider, noted a sign of caution about switching off the emergency package prematurely, citing attendance levels that were still “well below normal levels” and that adjustments to the old model would need to occur to mitigate affordability concerns.
There has also been no comment regarding JobKeeper and whether this package will be extended once the CCS system is reintroduced.
Mr Tehan is now in possession of the outcome of the ECEC Relief Package four week review and is expected to make a formal announcement about transition arrangements back to the CCS system later this week.
To read The Sunday Age article please click here.