Ensure early childhood education and care remains open and viable

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As a family relying on the Early Childhood Education and Care sector I request your URGENT assistance in ensuring Early Childhood Education and Care remains viable and open!

The caring and much loved educators that our children adore are on the frontline in this war against COVID-19 and are being asked every day to risk their lives in order to stay open and support the children of essential workers. As a family who relies on this essential service, we argue that any minister that takes money from the frontline soldiers in this war on COVID-19 is un-Australian. 

The 'Child Care Relief Package' is not targeted, appropriate or equitable. It is a poorly thought out reaction to gain popularity amongst working families.

As a family relying on my child care options to remain open I need you to reconsider this relief package as it currently stands.

If this policy is allowed to pass through parliament it will mean that each service will need to subsidise the care for my family from their own pocket and I fear that my child care service will not have the ability to stay open. 

As a family relying on my child care service to remain open, I agree that:

- Child Care fees continue to be means tested

- Families who continue to work from home and earn an income should pay a fee proportionate to their income.

-Families who are experiencing financial hardship due to loss of income because of COVID-19 should be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy.

-Children from vulnerable families should continue to be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy.

-Families of essential workers should be able to access more care over their allowance hours to support extra work that they too are undertaking on the frontline.

- Those families who choose to self isolate should still be entitled to the CCS but to have their gap fee waived. 

- For Family Day Care to be considered as a separate entity and an appropriate support system in place for those educators who support over 170 000 Australian children developed in collaboration with representatives from the FDC sector. 

To expect my current child care service to operate on 50% of their revenue and provide quality education and care, let alone food, nappies, wipes and cleaning products, and keep their staff (who may or may not be eligiable for the JobKeeper package) is outrageous.

I am extremely concerned that the new scheme will result in the demise of my chosen centre and many other viable early childhood services. 

We implore you to reconsider this package. It is not the solution that families were hoping for in these unprecedented circumstances and will have the opposite effect of what the government was hoping for. 

Our child care service is a vital service for my family as it allows all families and children to continue with their routines in a familiar and positive environment during this time of uncertainty.