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Executives warn of childcare collapse, more stress on Victorian families – The Age

Victoria will extend free sessional kindergarten until end of term three but end of the federal government’s free childcare scheme will put centres at risk.



The funding guarantees $460 for each eligible child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program. Eligible kindergarten services outside of these areas will be offered at $230 a child.
About 14,000 children across about 400 services will receive free sessional kinder.
We are making sure kindergartens across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire can support children to continue attending kinder and receive a vital early childhood education during this difficult period, without parents worrying about fees, Education Minister James Merlino said.
This funding will mean sessional kindergarten providers in these areas stay financially viable.
A survey of 2800 families by parents’ group The Parenthood found a “snap back” to normal fees would mean 34 per cent of parents would need to reduce their work days or remove their children from care altogether.
Sarah McCann-Bartlett, chief executive of the Australian HR Institute, said Victorian parents will probably withdraw their children from kinder again as the state’s coronavirus infection rate soars, leaving centres at risk of closure.
Some families may be eligible for a waived gap fee under an adjustment announced last week by federal Education Minister Dan Tehan but the umbrella scheme will cease.
“If we see the loss of childcare centres in Victoria as a result of less government support we will see increased stress within the family unit as parents deal with work and childcare simultaneously,” said Ms McCann-Bartlett.

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