Sydney eastern suburbs ECEC provider ‘halves cost of care’ in order to retain families

Sydney eastern suburbs ECEC provider ‘halves cost of care’ in order to retain families

by Freya Lucas

April 20, 2021

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider, Chrissanthy Tsigolis, has made the decision to reduce the daily fees for two of her services, located in the eastern Sydney suburbs of Rose Bay and Rosebery, in order to provide “permanent financial relief” for families post the COVID -19 pandemic. 


Having worked within the ECEC sector since 1995, Ms Tsigolis said her decision was motivated by a desire to keep early education affordable and attainable for those who had lost jobs and businesses as a result of the pandemic. 


Since introducing her reduced fee offering, occupancy at the Rose Bay service has increased 46 per cent. Many services in the surrounding area charge between $110 and $150 per child per day (prior to the implementation of relevant subsidies), however Ms Tsigolis’ service charges $75 a day in Rose Bay, and $88 in Rosebery. 


In order for the cost cutting to be sustainable, the services have reduced opening hours, and no longer provide lunch for families. 


The decision reflects the challenges many providers faced in early 2020, where attendance and enrolments fell sharply between March and June. 


Speaking with The Daily Telegraph Early Childhood Australia (ECA) CEO, Samantha Page, said while centres are reporting that they have vacancies and capacity to take more children, “the issue is affordability.”


“Not all centres have the capacity to (reduce costs), but it is good that services are responding to the needs of families when they can,” Ms Page said, noting that the cessation of JobKeeper, coupled with a reduction of the JobSeeker payment may lead to an increase in the number of families who will struggle to pay for education and care.


Ms Tsigolis’ story was originally covered by local media outlets The Daily Telegraph and The Greek Herald