2 April, 2020
PM announces free childcare
As of Sunday night parents will able to get free child care.
Scott Morrison has announced that child care will be free for parents who need it.
He said the Government will provide support to 13,000 childcare centres across the country to ensure they can remain open.
Childcare services across the county have been saying they are "stuck between a rock and a hard place" as they try to stay open to help essential workers doing their job while at the same time children were being removed from the centres in droves.
Mr Morrison said child care and early childhood was crucial for parents who relied on it so they could continue working.
"Critical areas are not just the obvious ones — it is not just the doctors or the nurses who are at the hospitals, it is the cleaners at the hospitals as well.
"It is the people driving trucks to get food out to supermarkets and ensure the supplies continue.
"If you have a job in this economy then that is an essential job, in my view, in terms of the running of the economy.”The PM said and
“It’s important that all of those parents who have children, that they get access to child care and those facilities will be there for them in the many months ahead.”
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the childcare sector would be overhauled to provide free care for working parents from next week.
"The old system was drafted for a pre-pandemic time," he said.
"As of Sunday night parents will get their child care for free.
"Can I say to all of those parents: what we want to do by doing this is ensure your childcare centre will remain open so that where you normally take your child to get cared for, that will be there for you so you are not looking to have to go to a new centre."
General Manager of the Kids Campus in Mareeba Jeanette Sturiale said their business was struggling
“We are surviving, I wouldn't say we are flourishing, we are surviving…just” she said.
“We have had a significant amount of parents pull their children out, for example in our Kindergarten centre we had 44 kids per day, we are now down to 6 kids per day. After school care is also suffering.”
Jeanette says that parents are pulling their children from daycare for several reasons “Before the restaurant and cafes closed down we had people pulling their kids out of care because they were frightened about the virus.” she said
“Once people started losing their jobs, we took a bigger hit of kids being pulled from care. Parents can't afford daycare if they're not working.”
Jeanette believes the government's new announcements are going to help working families
“The parents who are still dropping their kids off here, are the parents who are still working .They need to drop their kids off and work because they've had their hours reduced, they have to keep some money coming in.”
It’s not only Jeanette’s clients who have had their hours cut.
“Most of our staff had their hours reduced as well, hopefully, some of these government measures can help us increase the hours of our staff”
“We want to survive this and come out of the other side and we want to be here for the parents and carers of children on the Tablelands.”