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Impacts of COVID-19 lead to closure of Council-run childcare centres

07/04/2020

Georges River Council childcare centres are facing an uncertain future in the COVID-19 climate, as access to the Federal Government’s $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment is not being extended to local government workers.
 
The Federal Government announced a $1.6 billion package to provide free childcare services during the coronavirus pandemic. 
 
Georges River Council Mayor Kevin Greene said that unfortunately, the key aspect of this package will not be available to local government.
 
“While for-profit centres are eligible for the $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment for each staff member, in addition to the new childcare funding, local government is not eligible for that money,” said Mayor Greene.
 
“Without access to the JobKeeper payment, the funding package fails to cover the costs of keeping childcare centres open.
 
“We have also been experiencing a steep decline in attendance as more parents remove their children from childcare centres because of this pandemic. 
 
“We are devastated that we can no longer continue to provide care at all our centres.
 
“From close of business on Tuesday 7 April the Hurstville Early Learning Centre will close, South Hurstville Kindergarten will close from Friday 10 April, and Ocean Street Kindergarten will only operate on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The operation of all our centres is now under review.
 
“Until further notice, Jack High Long Day Care, Penshurst Long Day Care and Narani Carss Park Child Care Centre will remain open for normal hours of operation.
 
“We understand what a blow this is to community members who are relying on childcare in a very trying time, and we will do our best to assist them to find alternative care options,” added Mayor Greene.
 
For more information on Georges River Council’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au or call 9330 6400.

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