THE early learning sector could soon collapse and urgently needs the government to step in, two Bendigo-based providers have warned.
Goodstart Early Learning has seen one in three children pulled during the coronavirus pandemic and Jenny's Early Learning has warned it cannot stay open without federal government intervention.
"Currently, we would be more financially viable to be forced to close than to continue operating - this is an extremely worrying prospect," JEL managing director Darren Reid said.
"We are doing everything we can to stay viable, if we want to survive on the other side of the pandemic we need assistance for ourselves and our families."
Mr Reid urged the federal government to release plans for the sector, which has been deemed an essential service during the pandemic.
"If the government waived the requirement to charge a gap fee to families in order to receive the child care subsidy, we would have a better chance to maintain enrolments and stay open," he said.
Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said the sector is on the brink and said every day without plans to deal with the sector brought it closer to breaking point.
"So far the Prime Minister's response that a 'plan is still being developed' is just not good enough," Ms Chesters said.
"Without support from the Federal Government, rapidly declining enrolment could force many centres to permanently close.
"This will leave families without child care, early educators and directors without a job, and providers without a business.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan says he will have more to say on early childcare challenges in coming days.
"To support the sector, we have increased the number of days, up to 62, that a child care service will continue to receive the Child Care Subsidy when a child is absent from care," he said.
"The CCS covers up to 85 per cent of the daily costs of a child's care.
"The current expert medical advice is that the child care sector should remain open except where individual services have been directed to close by health authorities."
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