Gap fee waiver is not a perfect solution, Liverpool City Council Mayor says

Gap fee waiver is not a perfect solution, Liverpool City Council Mayor says

by Freya Lucas

August 02, 2021

Liverpool City Council is urging the NSW Government to provide financial support for Local Government Early Childhood providers following recent changes to childcare fees leaving many Councils across the state thousands of dollars out of pocket.

 

The Council has announced that it will waive fees for parents who choose to keep their children home during the stay-at-home order. The decision took effect from Monday 19 July and will continue until the stay-at-home order ends (at least until 11:59pm on Friday 30 July).

 

Wendy Waller, Liverpool Mayor, applauded the measures which would help ease the cost burden on families, despite the impact on the Council, which stands to lose approximately $58,000 per week due to increased absenteeism at its centres.

 

“During this difficult time, families are dealing with many competing pressures, economic or otherwise. We are delighted to pass on these cost savings to families who aren’t using our services and may have experienced a decline in income throughout the current stay-at-home order,” the Mayor said. 

 

“At the same time, we believe these measures should be balanced with financial support for Council-run early childhood education and care providers who may struggle because of this arrangement and are not currently eligible for any government business support grants – which some private providers may be eligible for.”

 

Many parents who use the Council’s services are heeding the advice of NSW Health and keeping their children home especially in Liverpool, Fairfield and Canterbury Bankstown Local Government Areas, resulting in 29 per cent attendance in the council’s centres.

 

“All of our six Early Education and Care Centres and Pre-School exceed national standards. Financial support from the NSW Government would ensure we are able to maintain the quality of service we have become known for during this time and well into the post-COVID period,” Mayor Waller said in closing.

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