Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that early learning and care services impacted by lockdowns must be supported through relief payments.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Thousands of early learning centres came to the brink of collapse in 2020 and we don’t want to see the same situation repeating itself.
“Centres are struggling to keep their doors open. Relying on the gap-fee waiver is unsustainable. In the end, families, children and early educators will be impacted.
“Relief payments can be made to ensure centres remain open and viable. It’s beyond time for the Education Minister to announce a scheme for all those centres affected by lockdowns across the country.
“With the current wave hitting many parts of the country, this system should be flexible and able to be switched on when lockdowns are ordered. This should be top priority.
“At the end of the day, this grim situation just underscores how broken the system is. Early learning and care should be universal and free, well-funded by the government, and not run for profit.”