NFAW adds voice to the calls for more transition support as services move to CCS
The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) has added its voice to calls for the Government to provide further support for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector as it moves back to a child care subsidy (CCS) model, saying there is a need to “re-think” the transition support given to the sector, to improve longer term affordability for families, and to ensure viability for the sector and job-security for the childcare workforce.
NFAW spokesperson Marie Coleman, a long-time campaigner for education and care said the Government’s childcare relief package measures “were a welcome response to the COVID-19 pandemic when first introduced in April, but we are concerned now that support for families and child care services is being wound back too early”.
‘Why does child care have to be the first sector to experience a wind-back of the JobKeeper payment and COVID-19 relief measures? Expecting the majority of families to be back to their normal hours of work, income and child care usage in about a month’s time is unrealistic,” Ms Coleman said.
Expressing concerns about a return to CCS, Ms Coleman said the NFAW is worried about the effect on children, families, child care educators and services should parents not be able to afford care.
Although CCS Activity Test measures are being relaxed until 4 October, NFAW has concerns that the affordability of child care will remain an issue once CCS payments resume on 13 July, as parents will have to meet out of pocket costs not covered by the CCS.
“The Government’s proposed 25 per cent payment to services in the transition period, in lieu of JobKeeper support, also may not be enough to prevent child care educator job losses if some services do not remain viable. Women will feel the impact of this more than men,” Ms Coleman added.
For a comprehensive review of the upcoming transition process, please see here.