Coalition of NSW ECEC providers calls for urgent Commonwealth support as fee waiver and lockdown challenges intensify
A coalition of New South Wales’ largest early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers and representative organisations are calling on the Prime Minister to provide tailored financial support to the sector in the wake of intensifying financial challenges being experienced as a result of extended lock down and fee waiver policies.
The group which includes some of the state’s largest providers including KU Children’s Services and Goodstart Early Learning highlighted that despite being deemed essential services and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent gap fee waiver announcement many providers are still not eligible for the financial support packages announced.
The statement also emphasised that NSW providers are committed to ensuring families who genuinely need childcare can access it, that providers are committed to supporting families who are able to keep their children at home and that providers are committed to keeping valuable teachers and educators employed.
“But,” as Chris Legg CEO of KU Children’s Services and spokesperson for the group said “it is simply not appropriate or sustainable to ask providers, many of whom are not-for-profit organisations, embedded in their local communities and providing critical support for vulnerable children and those with additional needs, to continue funding fee waivers without financial support.”
The call for support, which includes providers in the long day care, out of school hours care and family day care services, comes amidst a growing wave of concern being expressed across the sector calling for support and highlighting the financial consequences of the gap fee policy.
The group urged the Commonwealth to urgently provide financial support to childcare providers, particularly those not eligible for the existing NSW and Commonwealth support, to ensure the sustainability of early childhood education services throughout the duration of the lockdown.
“We call on the Prime Minister to join and support us in our commitment to ensuring the childcare sector can survive the pandemic, and continue supporting NSW children and families in the long term.”
The statement was endorsed by the CEO’s of the following organisations: