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Canberra Today 17°/19° | Thursday, January 20, 2022 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

Early child care providers call for JobKeeper extension

TWO Canberra not-for-profit’s are urging the Federal Government to reinstate JobKeeper support for early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers. 

The free-fee period for ECEC is due to end on July 12, with the government saying it has “done its job” but Community Services #1 and Communities@Work disagree.

The two not for profits say ECEC staff have seen the immediate stress and devastation that COVID-19 has had on families across the Canberra region.

“The free-fee period for ECEC is due to end on July 12, which will create another period of uncertainty for families and services across Canberra. The assumption that families will be in a position to pay, while the nation enters a recession will result in some children and families missing out on the benefits of ECEC,” says co-chair of the Alliance and Communities Services #1 CEO Amanda Tobler.

Communities@Work CEO Lee Maiden says it’s disappointing that the government has removed the JobKeeper payment from the ECEC workforce at a time where they are more critical than ever.

“We need to ensure we are supporting our ECEC workforce and showing them that the work they are doing is some of the most important in our community, caring and educating for our future generations,” Ms Maiden says.

The alliance has also written to the ACT government calling on them to support the call for JobKeeper to be reinstated for the ECEC workforce at national cabinet.

“We need to be working together with all levels government to ensure that all children have access to quality ECEC and that we are supporting our workforce to make this a reality. Early childhood educators have continued to carry out one of the most important jobs in our community during these challenges times – caring for and educating young children,” Ms Tobler says.

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