Childcare sector support must be extended

Tasmanian Labor
  • Childcare fees will be reintroduced tomorrow
  • Withdrawal of JobKeeper payments one week away
  • Extended support to sector critical for COVID-19 recovery
  • The childcare sector is set to take a massive blow
    with the reintroduction of childcare fees tomorrow, followed by an end to
    JobKeeper payments for childcare workers in a week.

    Labor MLC for Elwick, Josh Willie,
    said childcare
    was already unaffordable before COVID-19.

    “We are in the middle of this
    health and economic crisis, and the Liberals are already winding back vital
    support for the childcare industry and the families that rely up on it,” Mr
    Willie said.

    “Early
    childcare education is education – it is not baby-sitting. These nurturing
    environments equip our children with skills to start school.

    “It’s a
    right that all parents should be able to access education for their children
    and it shouldn’t be made so hard for parents who want the best for their
    children.

    Mr Willie
    said childcare businesses are worried they may struggle to maintain employment
    levels when childcare support ends, alongside a wind-back in JobKeeper payments
    across the industry.

    “With free
    childcare no longer available, some families will remove their children because
    care is no longer affordable, particularly if they have lost work or have had
    their hours reduced.

    “Without
    access to affordable care, it will also hurt the economy because of the
    barriers to workforce participation.

    “The
    education and care sector employ more than 3000 people across Tasmania and if
    families begin removing their children from early learning and care, the
    resulting drop in demand will create significant issues for providers.

    “With
    JobKeeper payments for childcare workers also to be wound back, the industry
    may struggle to remain viable.

    “This is
    devastating – it’s devastating for children, parents, educators and for all of
    us.

    “Winding
    back access to affordable childcare at this time starts the patterns of
    disadvantage even before children can walk.

    “Access to education and care for our children and families shouldn’t be made so hard and I urge the Liberal government rethink its ‘snap back’ and ensure the ongoing viability of the sector.”

    Josh Willie MLC

    Labor Member for Elwick

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