Senate Committee COVID-19 [Part 2] - 22/09/2020 12:49:59

Senate Committee COVID-19 [Part 2] - 22/09/2020 12:49:59

FDCA speaks at Senate Committee on Australian Government response to COVID-19

Following three separate submissions to the Australian Government Senate Committee on COVID-19, yesterday FDCA’s Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Paterson, appeared as a witness before the Committee; the only ECEC representative to appear at the hearing.

On behalf of our members, Andrew highlighted the many unique strengths of the sector and the vital role played by family day care throughout the pandemic and more broadly, as a vital part of Australia’s ECEC landscape.

"Through the emergence of COVID-19 it was widely acknowledged that family day care is the most agile early childhood education care type in supporting children, families, essential workers and the economy..." Mr Paterson said.

In detailing the challenges faced by the sector through the Australian Government’s funding responses, Andrew highlighted the inadequate consideration of the family day care model in the funding design and the inability of the funding structures to support the sector that ‘stood-up’ in support of families during COVID-19.

"...the family day care sector remained highly resilient in the face of considerable adversity. I am incredibly proud to be a part of our sector - the continuity of education and care remained largely unbroken and our members worked collaboratively and professionally to provide for the diverse and continued needs of Australian children and families throughout the pandemic."

While FDCA’s appearance at the hearing was an opportunity to reiterate the sector’s experience, it was also an opportunity to advocate for greater consideration of the uniqueness and strengths of family day care going forward.

Andrew called on the Australian Government to improve consultation efforts, create a dedicated Commonwealth family day care policy team, ensure that future funding responses are appropriately tailored for our sector, and make amendments to the CCS fee cap to ensure equitable remuneration across the sector and support the provision of non-standard hours care.