New figures from the Education Department show how Australia’s childcare sector is emerging from the Omicron wave in “crisis,” ABC News has reported.
According to the data, more than one in 10 centres need a government waiver to legally operate because they do not have enough workers.
The childcare sector is currently dealing with a wave of job losses due the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as significant economic pressures from forced closures.
Maria Routsis is the director and an educator at a childcare centre in Haberfield in Sydney’s west and she agreed it was a difficult time for the sector.
She said more funding was needed to pay staff wages attractive enough to retain them in the industry.
“It’s been challenging as a service. It’s been challenging as an individual. It’s been challenging as a director,” Ms Routsis told the national broadcaster.
“We do have a lot of frontline workers [as clients]. We’ve got teachers, we’ve got nurses, we’ve got some doctors, we’ve got a very wide community of families [who] attend the service and they need our doors to stay open.”
Senior government figures have said that the childcare sector has received generous aid compared to other parts of the economy. In its most recent budget, the Federal Government pledged more than $3 billion for preschool and childcare rebates.
Source: ABC News.