20 hours free childcare – yeah right

Election rhetoric is meeting public reality real fast especially over Early Childhood care.

The government promised with much fanfare 20 hours free…and there in lies the problem.

It isn’t.

it is starting to hit home as well. Someone I know who works as a PA and has one cute little boy has tried to get her 20 hours of care…no dice, won’t be done, unless you pay a fee. This person I would class as a life long Labour voter that is now also trapped by Working for Families and had to turn down a pay rise. She is now probably never going to vote Labour again.

I predict that more of these stories will emerge over the next while and Labour as a result of over-nannying the population could well face electoral annihilation.

 


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    The proposal for 20Free was poorly conceived, and is being equally poorly executed. As part-owner of an Early Childhood service, we face a major dilemma in deciding whether or not to “take up” the government’s proposal. At the rate of funding that has been announced by the Minister, we will be losing money for each hour of care provided under 20Free. The rate offered, once we have paid the caregivers what we believe is the minimum acceptable rate, and once GST has been deducted, will leave us with a shortfall of around $1.50 per hour, or around 45% of the normal rate of funding for an over-two. From an economic perspective, this would be suicide, however, we must consider the potential impact on the business in terms of loss of enrolments – in other words, it’s a lose/lose situation! We could charge for “extras” to bridge the gap, or offer reduced services to 20Free children – however, neither of those options is especially palatable to a service which prides itself on producing quality outcomes! The only encouragement at present is the lukewarm response that the ECE sector is giving to 20Free, which may prompt the Minister to dig a little deeper into his pockets – but we’re not holding our breath!

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