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Over 280 Early Childhood Services Close Due To Omicron

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Over 280 Early Childhood Services Close Due To Omicron
On Thursday 20th January, over 280 centres were closed temporarily due to a health emergency, according to data published by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority.
The previous week, 295 centres were temporarily closed in NSW, with 93 closed in Victoria and 51 in South Australia.
Lisa Bryant, a consultant in the early education and care sector, told AAP that COVID-19 is “ripping through” childcare centres.
While centres that close due to COVID-19 are allowed to waive families’ gap fees and continue to receive the government subsidy, “that isn’t enough money to keep those services operating,” Ms Bryant says.
New government data reveals more than 100 centres closed their doors permanently over four months during the Delta wave in 2021.
Between July 1 and November 1 2021, 104 centres closed permanently, the senate estimates data reveals. That’s almost one per day.
Some 1405 centres closed temporarily due to COVID-19 in that time, on average for nine days.
Under new rules agreed by national cabinet last week, educators who are close contacts can now continue to go to work as long as they’re asymptomatic.
A spokesperson for the federal education department said the change was enabling more services to stay open.

Omicron Sends Childcare Centres Scrambling, 7 News Australia, 21 January 2022
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