THE Federal Government recently announced the end of their free childcare scheme next month.
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The scheme was intended to stop the childcare sector from collapsing as a result of lack of demand, as well as allow for essential workers to continue just that – going to work.
The Federal Government report found that 86 percent of childcare services said that the scheme helped them remain open, and 87 per cent said it allowed them to care for the children of essential workers.
For Dr Sura Abbas, a general practitioner at Hawks Nest Medical Centre, this was not the case.
“We were planning on moving from Maitland to Hawks Nest as my husband and I both work at Hawks Nest Medical Centre.
“We had to put our moving plans on hold due to COVID and the free childcare scheme, since local daycares were unable to take on new enrolments.
“Hopefully the end of the scheme means that we can continue with our plans to move closer to our place of work and have our kids enrolled.”
Director of Amaroo Early Learning Centre in Tea Gardens, Guita Badaoui, told News Of The Area that the free childcare scheme was more of a burden on business than anything.
“The Government removed family subsidies and replaced it with only 50 per cent of the fees.
“At the time, we had just reopened the service due to a change in ownership and had only just commenced receiving new enrolments.
“The 50 per cent was therefore based on our lower numbers.
“The fact that subsidies resume next month means that we have increased our enrolments and are now nearly at full capacity.
“It’s hopefully onwards and upwards from here.”
The free childcare scheme will end on 12 July.
By Ashley CHRYSLER