LGNSW President Linda Scott is seeking urgent clarification from the Government to ensure council-run early childhood education and childcare services will be eligible for JobKeeper payments, which helps keep staff employed by providing $1500 of a worker’s wage per fortnight.
“Council-run early childhood education and childcare services are the largest providers in the State and now face closure under these new measures,” Cr Scott said.
“This is a particular concern in many regional areas where council-run services are the only provider of early childhood education and care.
“This new funding will replace the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), which makes up to 50 per cent of the revenue childcare centres normally receive on top of the fees from parents.
“Under the new funding plan, parents will not pay fees and council-run childcare facilities will not receive the previous CCS subsidy.
“One Sydney council has estimated it will lose $3 million over the next three months under this new funding arrangement and will struggle to keep its doors open.”
Cr Scott said local government needed access to JobKeeper payments so council-run childcare and preschool services operated on a level playing field with other providers, and rural and regional communities were not disadvantaged further.
“If council services are not eligible for JobKeeper payments, then these new arrangements will result in a further reduction in income for council services at a time when they are providing essential services to communities.
“Councils need access to the JobKeeper payments – the viability of the essential services they deliver to their communities depends on it.
“Local government is also often the key provider to vulnerable families including low-income, socially disadvantaged and those with disabilities.”