MEDIA RELEASE:

02 April 2020

EARLY LEARNING AND CARE COUNCIL APPLAUDS GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT TO SUSTAIN SECTOR AND ENABLE ONGOING EDUCATION AND CARE FOR FAMILIES

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) have applauded the Prime Minister and Government following its announcement today that families will receive ‘free’ early learning and care during the coronavirus pandemic.

ELACCA CEO, Elizabeth Death said that it would take some time to work through the intricacies of the package and most importantly its interface with the ‘jobkeeper’ subsidy.  At first glance it augured well for the sector’s sustainability and the essential role it plays in educating and caring for Australian children.

“I am confident that the waiving of the gap fees and the removal of the activity test will encourage many families to resume engagement with their early learning service and in doing so recommence a vital early education for their children.

“ELACCA is also very pleased that frontline workers and children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage will have priority of access to early learning and care services across Australia.

“It is critical during the pandemic that persons working to deliver essential services are confident that their children are cared for in a safe and supportive environment that is highly regulated to ensure high standards of hygiene and cleanliness.

“The continuity of routine and a familiar environment for children during times of stress is also imperative in helping the entire family feel at ease.

“ELACCA remains committed to every child in Australia accessing high quality early learning and care.

“We thank the Government for listening to the sector and recognising the essential and valued service all sector providers and the early learning workforce deliver to the broader community and at a challenging time for all Australians.”