COVID-19 baby boom means more educators will be needed, especially regionally
The Victorian town of Bendigo is experiencing a ‘baby boom’ after the state endured long periods of lockdown in 2020, leaving many locals wondering how all the children being born will be accommodated in already struggling early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.
More than 180 children were born at Bendigo Health in May, compared with less than 150 in May the year prior.
Speaking with the ABC, Bendigo mother Tess Casey outlined her surprise on learning that finding care for youngest son Ollie, 17 months, would be much more difficult than with her previous three children.
When looking at care options for her older children, services were fighting for enrollment, whereas now each service had a waiting list, she said.
Director of Bendigo’s Country Buddies Childcare Centre, Jeanette Greer, confirmed that the situation had changed, and that, for the first time in its history, her service had a waiting list for enrolments.
Some families, she said, were in daily contact with the service about their position on the list, while others were booking children six months in advance, or more. While a common practice in many major cities, Bendigo is now experiencing pregnant women placing their names on waiting lists prior to babies being born.
To access the ABC coverage of this story please see here.