Child care fees should return to full price from mid-October

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“It just puts crosses in another difficult position,” she said.

Kim Russell, owner of Pooh Bear’s House daycare in Croydon North, said ending federal support would only cause more pain for families and caregivers.

Parents will be charged the full cost of childcare once Victoria is no longer classified as a hotspot by the federal government. Credit:Alamy

“We have so many daycares closing due to cases right now,” she said.

“I didn’t think something like this would happen until we hit the immunization targets.

“If parents pay the full price, they will want [their child] to enter. All children will return to the ward and increase the chances of COVID entering a center.

Lauren Elliott’s three-year-old son Will dated Pooh Bear’s House before the lockdown. Ms Elliott said if the center was forced to charge the full fee, it would likely have to withdraw it for good.

Ms Elliott says if childcare starts charging full fees again while Melbourne is still stranded, she will likely have to remove Will.

Ms Elliott says if childcare starts charging full fees again while Melbourne is still stranded, she will likely have to remove Will.Credit:Paul Jeffers

“It just wouldn’t be worth it,” she said. “He was there for social reasons and if he’s not there but you have to pay what’s the point?”

She said many families are currently facing very difficult decisions.

“So many local daycares have been closed around us now, so even when you can send them you think I want to put my child at such risk? “

Georgie Dent, of the parenting advocacy group The Parenthood, said many Victorian parents had a legitimate desire to keep their young children at home and they shouldn’t be forced to pay child care expenses.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has announced an extension of Victoria's COVID-19 hotspot status.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has announced an extension of Victoria’s COVID-19 hotspot status.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“The list of exhibition sites is riddled with early learning centers, the state just set a national record in daily cases,” she said.

“Parents deserve better than the uncertainty of whether they will have to pay for a service they can’t and don’t want to use while parts of the state are stranded.”

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Ms Dent said Victorian parents were cracking under the pressure.

“They are trying the impossible task of working from home with young children at home, in addition to distance learning,” she said.

“The idea that they would have to shell out a fee for a service they can’t use is incredibly insulting.”

Helen Gibbons, director of early childhood education and care for the Union of United Workers, said the move puts the sector and families in an untenable position.

“I don’t understand why they are making this decision. It was a surprise for the sector, ”she said.

“It is unacceptable that families are put in this terrible situation, and it threatens the jobs of educators because they can face an exodus from the center. “

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