ACA VIC/TAS Media Alert

ACA VIC/TAS calls upon Australian Government

to throw the child care (early learning) sector an urgent lifeline

 

Following the latest Federal and State move to greater social distancing restrictions on the Australian community, today more than ever, early learning services are crying out for help and demanding answers.


Over 200,000 families in Victoria and Tasmania are facing the immediate (and potentially permanent) collapse of early learning (childcare) services, as providers fight to keep their doors open to support the community and essential services workers.


The peak body for child care (early learning) services in Victoria and Tasmania applauds the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the importance of the early learning sector and the essential role it plays in keeping the economy running.


“We appreciate the Prime Minister’s acknowledgment of the essential service childcare plays “as a very high-to the top of priority” consideration and that we are an “integral part of our economy". What we need is support packages put in place immediately to keep centres viable.” ACA VIC/TAS President Sarah Tullberg explained.


“Last week we had attendances drop to the point of no return. Childcare centres have hit a financial wall and bankruptcy looms. Today the cry for help is even more desperate.

 

Whilst many families have felt the need to withdraw their children, due to either financial reasons or health advice, Australian families want their children to be able to return to their existing childcare (early learning) services, once we get to the other side of this enormous crisis.” Ms Tullberg explained.

 

“But right now, our families, our educators and our providers are being smashed by the economic fallout from this virus and the fear, confusion and unemployment it has brought about at a rapid speed,” Ms Tullberg said. “As is stands, there is no funding certainty and without that, no future for our sector.”

 

“We are deeply concerned that if funding certainty is not delivered urgently to these services, the sector simply cannot continue supporting these families through this crisis. To make matters worse, many of our vital early learning (child care) centres will not survive the coming weeks in order to support the economy on the other side of this health crisis, with further withdrawals daily.”

 

ACA’s national body has presented a suite of measures to the Government that, if adopted now, would immediately ease the financial burden of families, keep educators in jobs and protect centres from permanent closure.

 

As a first step, the Government must waive gap fees for parents and honour the Child Care Subsidy payments to centres as they stood on 1st March and apply this beyond.

 

“This is an easy fix which could be applied right now.

 

We understand all of Australia is struggling at this challenging time but without quality early learning or child care, it’s going to be extremely difficult for Australia to bounce back from these economic dark days.” Ms Tullberg said. 

 

Media enquiries:

 

VICTORIA - Sarah Tullberg 0400 266 605 or Paul Mondo 0411 587 170

 

TASMANIA - Mel Reid-Prewer 0417 596 967 or Lyndon Walsh on 0402 134 552

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