Childcare fees will return at full price from mid-October

“This just puts centers in another tough position,” she said.

Kim Russell, owner of Pooh Bear’s House Child Care Center in Croydon North, said ending federal support would only mean more pain for families and child care workers.

Parents will be charged the full childcare fee when Victoria is no longer classified as a hotspot by the federal government.

Parents will be charged the full childcare fee when Victoria is no longer classified as a hotspot by the federal government. Credit:Alamy

“We have so many childcare centers closed due to having cases at the moment,” she said.

“I did not think anything similar would happen until we hit the vaccination targets.

“If the parents are charged full price, they want it [their child] to come in. All the children return to the service and increase the chances of COVID entering a center. ”

Lauren Elliott’s three-year-old son Will attended Pooh Bear’s House before the lockdown. Ms Elliott said that if the center is forced to charge full fee, she will likely have to withdraw him permanently.

Mrs Elliott says that if childcare returns to charge full fees while Melbourne is still locked in, she will likely have to take Will out.

Mrs Elliott says that if childcare returns to charge full fees while Melbourne is still locked in, she will likely have to take Will out.Credit:Paul Jeffers

“It just would not be worth it,” she said. “He was in there for social reasons, and if he’s not there but you have to pay, what’s the point?”

She said many families are currently facing very tough decisions.

“So many local day care centers have been closed around us now, so even if you can send them, do you think I will expose my child to such a risk?”

Georgie Dent, of the parenting group The Parenthood, said many Victorian parents had a legitimate desire to keep their young children at home and should not be forced to pay childcare fees.

Chief Physician Paul Kelly announced an extension of Victoria's COVID-19 hotspot status.

Chief Physician Paul Kelly announced an extension of Victoria’s COVID-19 hotspot status.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“The list of exposure sites is filled with early learning centers, the state has just registered a national high point in day-to-day affairs,” she said.

“Parents deserve better than uncertainty about whether they will have to pay for a service they cannot and will not use while parts of the state are locked inside.”

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Mrs Dent said Victorian parents struggled under the pressure.

“They try the impossible task of working from home with young children in the house on top of distance learning,” she said.

“The thought of them having to pay fees for a service they can’t use is incredibly insulting.”

Helen Gibbons, director of early education and care at the United Workers Union, said the move put the sector and families in an unsustainable position.

“I do not understand why they are making this decision. It has come as a surprise to the sector, ”she said.

“It is unacceptable that families are being put in this terrible position and it threatens the jobs of educators because they can get out of an emigration from the center.”

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