PM says announcement on ECEC arrangements coming “in not too distant future”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that the Government will be in a position to make further announcements on the next steps for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector’s current and future funding arrangements “in the not too distant future.”
The comments were made at a press conference held at Parliament House and come amidst increasing consternation across the ECEC sector at the absence of any updates on the review of the ECEC relief package especially in light of Education Minister Dan Tehan’s commitment to give four weeks notice ahead of any changeover.
With the ECEC Relief Package set to expire on the 28 June 2020, less than four weeks away, rising demand care against a backdrop of fixed prices combined with uncertainty about a transition back to CCS is creating an elevated level of uncertainty for operators across the sector.
Mr Morrison noted that it “is a matter that is being considered, the current arrangements remain in place for now. I think we will be in a position in the not too distant future to be making further announcements about that and that will also be made on its merits and an assessment of where the situation is at this time.”
He then went on to say “I do know that the childcare facilities and parents themselves are keen to move back towards a more normal arrangement, which would enable greater capacity, with more people going back to work there are rising levels of demand, which was the issue some time ago, and the guarantees were put in place through both JobKeeper and the direct support provided to childcare facilities, I think has been very important.”
With respect to whether the arrangements in their current form will be continued Mr Morrision said that what is in place now “was never a permanent measure, it was a measure designed for the times and, like all of our measures, we constantly keep looking at them and applying them to the circumstances as we know them” and in so doing signaled a move back to the Child Care Subsidy system was inevitable.
To read the transcript of the press conference please click here.