Praise boost for childcare

CHILDCARE Centre operators have welcomed the State Government’s historic move to ‘supercharge’ the sector through a $281.6 million workforce package in the 2022/23 NSW Budget.

The package includes early childhood teacher higher education scholarships of up to $25,000, VET scholarships of up to $2,000 and employer supplements for staff retention.
Lidcombe Preschool Kindergarten and Choice Preschool Auburn owner Bala Balendra says the funding will definitely help with their struggle to retain staff.
“Since Covid, it’s been very difficult,” he said.
“Many staff left when parents started pulling their children out of childcare due to the pandemic, especially casuals not eligible for JobKeeper and when the Federal Government introduced its temporary free childcare package, our centres struggled to get the staff back.
“This funding is also a good opportunity for staff who want to do further study and get higher wages in the sector.”
An increasing time spent on paperwork is also being blamed for staff shortages.
Area manager for Hilltop Rd Childcare Merrylands, Kelly York says they have been lucky with their services but are aware of the many challenges in the industry.
“Less red tape would be very welcome by everyone,” she said.
Premier Dominic Perrottet says NSW is leading the nation in implementing measures to address workforce supply issues and build a sustainable pipeline of early childhood educators and teachers for tomorrow.
“This package will open new doors to attract, support and retain the best early childhood workforce in NSW, to create a brighter future for families and children,” he said.