Budget cuts will affect day care services

FAMILIES IN NEED: Lara Carton and Audrey Allerton want to continue in family day care. Photo: Gareth Gardner  300714GGB02

FAMILIES IN NEED: Lara Carton and Audrey Allerton want to continue in family day care. Photo: Gareth Gardner 300714GGB02

NEARLY 500 Tamworth families will be affected by federal budget cuts to the Community Support Program (CSP), meaning changes to family day care.

Tamworth Family Day Care manager Joanne Spinner said if the program was cut, there would not be enough funding to recruit, train, support and monitor educators.

There are 680 children from 480 families across Tamworth using family day care services.

The changes to the CSP will mean, from July 1, 2015, all family day care services applying for support from the CSP will be assessed under similar eligibility criteria to those that apply to other care types, like long daycare, and there will be a $250,000 cap per financial year for each daycare service.

Tamworth Family Day Care Service has taken action, with more than 220 signed cards, which are part of a nationwide Families Need Family Day Care campaign, to be presented to member for New England  Barnaby Joyce next month when he meets with the organisation.

The service is still waiting to get a clear answer as to whether it will be eligible for CSP funding after June 30,  2015.

Ms Spinner said they were asking the government to reconsider changes to the operational funding support.

“We wouldn’t be able to continue the fortnightly visits to educators,” she said.

“We may not be able to continue with our range of paints and supplies and may not be able to continue playgroup.” 

Ms Spinner said they would also not be able to jump in the car and visit educators when they had issues. Fees may also increase.

Ms Spinner said there were a range of reasons why parents chose family day care.

“There is a consistent educator in a family environment, siblings stay together and families pay for what they need, not a full day like other services,”

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