Uncertainty strikes family care providers
A FAMILY daycare which has served the community for the past 15 years is one of many undergoing drastic changes in a bid to survive.
Happy Home Childcare Mooloolaba owner Annie Scanlan said the coronavirus-sparked changes to the childcare industry had made a huge difference to her business and other family daycare operators around the nation.
Ms Scanlan said the changes that were brought in to deliver free childcare services had reduced an average family daycare worker's wage by about 70 per cent.
She'd had to stand down her two relief educators in response to the reduced income, and said the impacts had hit family daycare operators harder than larger childcare centres, which had the ability to function with skeleton staff.
She said there was usually only one person a day caring for children in family daycare, and many were now weighing up whether it was viable to stay open.
"The whole thing's really bad," Ms Scanlan said.
"You'd hate to see family daycare fold because of it.
"It's a nightmare."
She said her enrolments had been relatively unaffected by coronavirus until the free childcare announcements were made.
Rainbow Bridge Family Day Care owner and director Victoria Edmond, whose family daycare service network operated from the Sunshine Coast to Nowra in New South Wales, said family daycare operators needed to be better consulted and given certainty on whether they would revert to the childcare subsidy system as it was before April 5.
She said the changes to date had favoured larger childcare centres and delivered major blows for small family daycare operators.
Ms Edmond said family daycare operators - many of whom catered to the needs of emergency services and frontline workers - had now formed a taskforce with representatives from across the country.
She said they'd turned their attention to the next round of announcements in September.
Australian Childcare Alliance and Early Childhood Australia both welcomed the Federal Government's previously announced measures.