Jacqui Darbyshire and (clockwise) Abbie, Bryce, Maya, Amelia and Zavier.
Jacqui Darbyshire and (clockwise) Abbie, Bryce, Maya, Amelia and Zavier. Rob Wright

Day care educators worried what will happen to the kids

FAMILY day care operators on the Coffs Coast are lobbying the Federal Government to reconsider cutting child to educator ratios in NSW.

As of January 1, 2014, the National Education and Care Regulation system will reduce the current five children to one educator ratio to a 4:1 ratio.

Family Day Care NSW says the reduction could see children left without day care placements and increase costs for parents.

"My major concern is where are the children going to go under these new ratios?" said a Coffs Harbour family day care operator, Jacqui Darbyshire.

"We are talking about 50 children on the Coffs Coast every day who from next year will not have a place in family day care.

"What we are asking of the Federal Government is before they introduce these new ratios they undertake more research into the ratios.

"The 4:1 ratio will mean a loss of income for educators, which will lead to price increases for parents using family daycare," she said.

Coffs Harbour Family Day Care business manager Janet Coleman said educators' incomes would fall by 20%.

"Of major concern in this whole scenario is that 4000 children per day in NSW will not have the option of attending family day care," Ms Coleman said.

Ms Coleman said if the cost to family day care was passed on to parents in full, they could pay as much as $2 more for an hour of care.

"There is already increasing pressure on family day care as a result of the change in ratios experienced by child care centres and long day care where their ratios changed to 4:1 for children under two years," Ms Coleman said.

"As a result of this change, many child care centres have reduced their places for children under two years due to the cost of employing additional staff members."

Coffs Harbour Family Day Care will raise the issue with Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker in the hope a Tony Abbott-led government could extend the transition period so further research can be conducted.

If this issue affects your family let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or emailing the editor at editorial@coffscoastadvocate.com.au.


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