The Greens have responded to the government’s package for childcare in Victoria, saying that it is unnecessarily complicated and austere. The government should guarantee free childcare permanently and extend JobKeeper for all early learning workers.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Australian Greens Education spokesperson, said:
“This package doesn’t work for families, who may still have to pay gap fees. It doesn’t work for educators, who don’t have a wage guarantee. And it doesn’t work for centres, who won’t get the funding they need.
“The time is up for impromptu band-aids and ad-hoc fixes. We need to extend the wider JobKeeper scheme to all early learning workers and guarantee proper relief payments for centres.
“The government must recognise that our early learning system is completely broken. It needs an overhaul and childcare needs to be made free permanently.
“We would not be in this situation if early childhood education were properly funded and fee-free to begin with.
“This saga of stop-gap payments and packages through Covid-19 can be resolved through investing in early education, making it fee-free for families, and considering it an essential service with a properly compensated workforce. This is good for families, good for women, good for children and for our society and economy.
“I want to particularly acknowledge ECEC workers. They have been on the frontline and they should be commended for what they continue to do,” she said.