Central Coast mother starts petition
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Central Coast mother develops petition calling on NSW Government to solve ECEC crisi

Central Coast mother develops petition calling on NSW Government to solve ECEC crisi

by Freya Lucas

November 17, 2023

Jess Coulson, a mother from the New South Wales Central Coast, has launched an e-petition in the NSW Legislative Assembly sponsored by Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch, calling on the NSW Government to take action to resolve the current availability crisis in early childhood education and care (ECEC).


The petition calls on the NSW Government to take steps to increase funding and resources to expand ECEC facilities and to facilitate the hiring of more ECEC professionals which will assist in reducing waiting lists. 


Ms Coulson said the ECEC situation for parents and caregivers on the Central Coast was “dire” and required urgent attention, with waitlists in the region stretching beyond two years.


“Families are being advised to apply to upwards of 20 early childcare centres within a 60-minute travel radius for a chance in securing childcare,” she shared with local news source Coast Community News.


Families being told that they are on a waiting list behind 400 other families, she continued, is disheartening, and has “devastating consequences” for local families, who are forced to make difficult decisions around delaying their return to work or giving up their jobs entirely to care for their children.


“It greatly impacts the financial stability of many households and is placing undue stress on parents and caregivers who are left in a constant state of anxiety and frustration as they struggle to secure safe and reliable childcare services,” she said. 


Ms Coulson acknowledged that the “considerable shortage” of educators means that ECEC services are unable to operate at full capacity, playing a major role in the issue. 


“There needs to be more funding urgently to support the centres in hiring more educators so they can take on more children and open more centres,” she added. 


Mr Crouch acknowledged the challenges which families face when it comes to accessing care. 


“On top of an already strained childcare sector, we have seen a massive increase in families with young children choosing to call our region home requiring early childcare (sic.) services,” he shared with the paper. 


The petition has received “an overwhelmingly positive response,” with over 800 people signing in the first five days. 


To view the petition, please see here. To read local coverage of this story, please see here

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