Prime Minister must take responsibility for childcare crisis
10 August 2021 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison must act urgently on reports 50 early learning providers from across Sydney consider the sector is in crisis and needs emergency support for providers and the workforce.
Thrive by Five CEO, Jay Weatherill said early learning educators are essential workers and the Federal government should act urgently to avoid any centre closures or workers being stood down or sacked.
“Early learning providers and their essential workers were offered a Federal government support package during the Melbourne lockdown last year, why isn’t the same government support available now?
“Early learning and childcare centres in Sydney, and other locked down regions, are under extreme pressure and are reaching breaking point. There’s a real fear that more early learning providers may be forced to close their centres or stand down their workers if greater Federal government support doesn’t arrive immediately.
“The early learning and childcare sector was already suffering from an insecure workforce and high fees, now the pandemic and further lockdowns are driving them close to collapse.
“The Prime Minister must take responsibility and provide support for quality early learning and childcare centres to remain open and retain their workers.
“Analysis by The Front project shows universal early childhood education could produce a 1:2 return on investment in Australia, with $4.75 billion worth of benefits to children, their families and communities, government and business.
“Surveys have shown about three-quarters of Australians support a universal early learning and childcare system, now it is time for action.
“Thrive by Five is calling on the Prime Minister to listen to the community, provide immediate support to stop further job losses in the early learning and childcare sector and place the future of childcare on the National Cabinet agenda,” Mr Weatherill said.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill is available for interview.
Thrive by Five National 5-point Plan for National Cabinet
- Agree to a Federal-State agreement to deliver universal three-year-old preschool across the country to match the partnership agreement in place for four year old preschool.
- Lift the childcare subsidy to 95% for all children and set agreed fee caps.
- Make the childcare subsidy available to all children regardless of the setting and the income or work status of the parents.
- Start workforce planning for a universal system and fund appropriate pay and conditions for educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high staff turnover rates across the sector.