Focus on childcare bottom dollar leads to more safety breaches, report finds

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For-profit childcare providers are disproportionately breaching safety requirements and the problem is getting worse. 

Childhood educators say poor staffing arrangements in their centres are leading to safety concerns.

Sydney-based early childhood educator Theodora Hatzihrisafis says providers put kids at risk when they squeeze their staffing budgets. 

“The quality of education and care is just not there, it ends up being crowd control,” she says.

“That puts a lot of pressure on the educators [and] that results in staff burnout.” 

She criticises the “under-roof” staffing ratio strategy she’s seen many for-profit providers use to keep their staffing budgets to a minimum. 

She says this approach leads to a chaotic environment where children are put at risk because there isn’t enough supervision. 

For-profit providers made up three-quarters of the 12,000 enforcement actions taken since 2015, according to a report from the United Workers Union.

The report found 16 per cent of for-profit centres exceeded quality standards compared with 36 per cent of not-for-profits and 40 per cent of publicly-run centres. 

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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