Communities@Work freezes fees for the remainder of 2020 as COVID-19 continues

by Freya Lucas

September 08, 2020

ACT provider Communities@Work has announced that fees across the organisation’s early education centres and out of school hours care services will be unchanged in the next four months, and that no fee increase to the service levy paid by educators to Communities@Work will be applied.


Speaking with local publication The Canberra Times, CEO Lee Maiden said she hoped the decision would help families to continue to access education and care services for their children as the economic fallout of the pandemic continues across the country. 


Ms Maiden acknowledged the ongoing pressures to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, telling The Canberra Times that at the height of the pandemic, attendance plummeted to just 10 per cent across Communities@Work sites, leaving the provider fearful of needing to downsize or close some of its services. 


While federal support meant that the services avoided closures, the ECEC sector as a whole, she said, has been dealt “blow after blow.


Despite the challenges, Ms Maiden said she hoped the decision would bring families, many of whom are experiencing hardship for the first time as a result of job loss or reduced income, “a little breathing space” and allows for continued access to high quality education and care. 


To read the original coverage of this story, as produced by The Canberra Times, please see here.