Federal government to also fund council-run childcare

The federal government has quietly extended its childcare funding to council-run services on the same day the NSW government announced it would spend $82 million to prop up the ailing sector.

9/04/2020 9:20:00 AM

Breaking: The federal government has extended its childcare funding to council-run services on the same day the NSW government announced it would spend $82 million to prop up the ailing sector | AngusGthompson

The federal government has quietly extended its childcare funding to council-run services on the same day the NSW government announced it would spend $82 million to prop up the ailing sector.

Very large text sizeThe federal government has extended its childcare funding to council-run services on the same day the NSW government announced it would spend $82 million to prop up the ailing sector.The federal Department of Education told local government operators on Thursday they could qualify for an 'exceptional circumstance' supplement after councils complained the free childcare package announced last week would

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without access to the JobKeeper subsidy.Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has extended crisis childcare funding to council-run services in a supplementary package.Credit:Alex EllinghausenIt comes after Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday morning announced the state was ensuring the continued operation of 260 council-run childcare centres

, with multiple sources saying both levels of government were unaware of the others' plans.The funding, which will also make preschool free for parents over the next six months, comes after assurances by federal Education Minister Dan Tehan earlier this week that he had heard the concerns raised by councils, "and we continue to work on the issue."

AdvertisementThe Sydney MorningHeraldhas contacted the Premier's office and the office of Mr Tehan about whether each knew of the other's impending funding packages.Local Government NSW Linda Scott, who unsuccessfully urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to include local government employees in the $1500-a-fortnight JobKeeper payments passed by federal Parliament last night, said the state government funding would save jobs and support communities.

The federal government's supplementary package came on the same day NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her own government's $82 million funding injection.Credit:Peter Braig"In NSW, local government is not only the largest provider of childcare and early education services, but in some regional areas the only provider," Cr Scott said.

"Without this rescue package we were looking at the closure of council-run childcare centres."She said NSW councils welcomed the additional Commonwealth funding to bridge the gap, in addition to the state funding.LoadingIn an information sheet on its website, the federal Department of Education states the exceptional circumstance supplementary payment is available for providers who need a "top up" on the previously announced relief package they are already getting.

"If a provider/service is run by local government, or otherwise not eligible for JobKeeper Payment, it may be eligible for supplementary payment," the sheet states.On Monday, Cumberland City Council general manager Hamish McNulty told parents and staff the council had been "left with no option" but to suspend its childcare services because the federal government's free childcare scheme, which began this week, would leave its budget with a major deficit.

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Georges River Council advised residents on Tuesday that it would close two childcare centres while reducing the days of a third, with the operations of all its centres under review. Read more: The Sydney Morning Herald »

AngusGthompson Ailing sector? Its school holidays.

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Childcare centres across Sydney set to close because of federal packageIn a letter to parents, one council general manager said it had been 'left with no option' but to suspend its childcare services due to a significant budget hole. AngusGthompson Tighten the budget councils - like the rest of us

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