Family Day Care to be hit

Mayor of Hobsons Bay Councillorr Sandra Wilson has expressed concern for the future of council’s family day care program after the federal government announced a reduction in funding.

Currently, Hobson’s Bay Council receives about $230,000 each year from the government’s Community Support Program to support Hobsons Bay’s family day care program, with Council providing a $150,000 subsidy.

The Australian Government has indicated that changes to the eligibility criteria will be introduced in July 2015 for family day care services which would guarantee funding for only the most disadvantaged or rural councils.

“The changes will remove about $230,000 a year in funding to Hobsons Bay from the Community Support Program and the effects of this on our family day care services will be catastrophic,” said Cr Wilson.

“Without this support, we will be forced either to make up the shortfall, pass on increased fees or to cut back our services.”

Costs saving measures are expected to only make up a portion of the shortfall.

“The concern is that most of the financial burden will fall upon families or ratepayers, neither of which is sustainable.”

“Families who use the services currently pay a parent administration levy and it would put additional financial pressure on them if this was to be significantly increased.”

Cr Wilson said the Council would be discussing the issue with its educators to explore the different options available.

“We will be working closely with our educators on this issue and together we will look at how we can best generate the revenue required without reducing our current services, which are highly valued by our community.

“The Council will also be supporting the Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) campaign.

“By lobbying the Australian Government, FDCA is actively opposing the Community Support Program changes and we will be providing information and data to demonstrate the negative impacts of the proposed cuts.

“FDCA has also created an online petition which will be sent out to educators to sign.”