Since the introduction of the ‘free childcare package,’ we’ve had many requests to enrol or re-enrol children. I’m writing to clarify how we’re managing these requests.
Firstly, the Government requires that we prioritise enrolments for children of essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and children who were previously enrolled. The Prime Minister has previously indicated essential workers include any worker who has a job. Within this category we may, however, prioritise workers that provide essential front-line services like health care workers, police and teachers. Where we do not have the capacity to meet the care needs of priority enrolments, we may suspend the enrolment of any family we subsequently find does not meet essential worker requirements. Note disadvantaged and vulnerable children are considered to be those that would meet the requirements for the Additional Child Care Subsidy (Child Wellbeing).
Secondly, we must continue to meet the laws and regulations that govern early childhood services. These include meeting educator to child ratios. Unfortunately, we have had to adjust our rostering and staffing arrangements to try and maintain the financial viability of our service. While the Government has provided some financial assistance including Jobkeeper payments, these do not necessarily allow us to restore our staffing arrangements to previous levels.
Thirdly, we must also ensure the effectiveness of our social distancing strategies is not compromised by excessive numbers of children. The safety and wellbeing of our children, staff and families is as always, our primary concern, especially during these times of COVID-19.
We look forward to the time when life can ‘return to normal’ and we have the capacity to provide education and care to as many children as possible. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to raise any concerns or questions with myself or our Nominated Supervisors Melissa English or Kelly Tomkins.
Approved Provider, Erina kindy Pty Ltd
02 4367 7285