Childcare package will bring relief to families, but lifeline still needed for services

2 April 2020

Today’s announcement of an additional package to assist families with childcare costs and support the childcare sector will bring some relief, but won’t be enough to secure the future of these key services.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said: “The Government’s offer to pay 50% of child care fees will assist, but will still leave services facing a 50% drop in revenue. While it may secure the viability of services that can combine this relief with access to the JobKeeper Payment, services who are not eligible will be in dire straits.

“To secure the viability of the sector all services should have access to the JobKeeper payments – this will also allow them to keep their thousands of educators in paid work.

“The extension of fee relief to struggling families will make an enormous difference to household budgets, while ensuring that families currently keeping children home can resume their attendance at childcare once this crisis passes.

“We also welcome the recognition that childcare services are essential to support the ongoing participation of essential workers in health, education and other settings.

“The decision to set an earlier benchmark for enrollment numbers is also sensible, noting the significant withdrawal of children from early childhood education since early March.”