Communities@Work to continue ‘fee freeze’ as economic challenges for Canberra persist
Canberra’s largest provider of children’s services Communities@Work has announced that it will extend its freeze of childcare fees into 2021 to help support families struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19 and the “widening gap” between childcare costs and the government-provided childcare subsidy.
The move follows a decision made by the provider in 2020, to keep its children’s services open and to provide essential supervision and support at the Safe and Supervised School sites during Term 2 of remote learning. Importantly for many families, this decision also included freezing fees across all its children’s services – 12 Early Education and Care Centres and 17 Out of School Hours Care services.
Additionally, Communities@Work has provided ongoing support to its 85 self-employed Family Day Care and 5 In-Home Care educators, with no fee increases to the service levy these educators pay to Communities@Work.
Despite these measures, Communities@Work CEO Lee Maiden said, many families remain anxious about their financial situation. In response, Communities@Work has decided to extend its freeze on childcare fees into 2021.
“2020 was a tough year,” Ms Maiden said. “We know that rising unemployment and a slowing economy has hit many people hard. Many are experiencing hardship for the first time through job losses or reduced incomes.”
“When we first let families know that we were freezing fees, they said it was such a relief not to have another thing to worry about on top of everything else that was happening last year. They appreciated having additional money in their pockets to pay bills. By continuing to freeze our childcare fees we can continue giving families that relief.”
Ms Maiden said this “standing together” value was one which she was proud of.
“This past year was full of ups and downs, but ultimately, it showed us what we’re capable of when we pull together as a community and put people and their needs at the heart of everything we do,” she said.
For more information about Communities@Work, please see here.