E-Petition Launched By Local Mum For Action On Childcare

08 Nov 2023

Local Bensville mother Jess Coulson has launched an e-petition in the NSW Legislative Assembly sponsored by Member for Terrigal Adam Crouch, calling on the NSW Government to take action to resolve the childcare crisis.

The e-petition calls on the NSW Government to take steps to increase funding and resources to expand childcare facilities, facilitate the hiring of more early childhood educators which will work to reduce early childhood waiting list.


Ms. Coulson said the childcare situation on the Central Coast is dire and requires urgent attention, with waitlists in our region stretching beyond a staggering two years.


“Families are being advised to apply to upwards of 20 early childcare centres within a sixty-minute travel radius for a chance in securing childcare.”


“It is incredibly disheartening being told you’re on a waitlist behind at least four hundred other families. It makes you think, what is the point?”


Ms. Coulson reiterated that the crisis is having devastating consequences on local families.


“Families are being forced to make difficult decisions around delaying their return to work or giving up their jobs entirely to care for their children.”


“It greatly impacts the financial stability of many households and is placing undue stress on parents and caregivers who are left in a constant state of anxiety and frustration as they struggle to secure safe and reliable childcare services.”


“One of the leading causes of this crisis is the considerable shortage of early childhood educators. This means childcare centres are unable to function at full capacity, playing a major role in the placement shortages.


“There needs to be more funding urgently to support the centres in hiring more educators so they can take on more children and open more centres.” said Ms Coulson.


Mr Crouch echoed Ms. Coulson’s sentiments, acknowledging the difficulties of accessing childcare facilities on the Central Coast.


“On top of an already strained childcare sector, we have seen a massive increase in families with young children choosing to call our region home requiring early childcare services.”


“Speaking with Jess on the issues facing her family, it’s clear that we still need to take greater steps to level-up our childcare sector and alleviate the pain families across the Central Coast are feeling.”


Mr Crouch said the former Coalition government was committed to improving early childhood education in the state, passing landmark childcare reforms in 2022 to enable access to cheaper, high-quality childcare but there is still more work to do.


“Even with the passing of these landmark reforms, we are still seeing childcare staff shortages due to the rate of the Children’s Services Award.”


“I’m pleased that the FairWork Commission announced a 5.75% increase in the Children’s Services Award, but we still need to make early childcare an attractive career choice to help alleviate staffing issues.” said Mr Crouch


While the landmark reforms introduced by the Coalition were passed, Mr Crouch and Ms. Coulson said there is still responsibility from the NSW Government to do more.


“Speaking with many parents in the community, there is a huge call to subsidise other childcare resources such as nannies until we have access to more placements in childcare facilities, as the cost is debilitating for households.” said Ms. Coulson.


“There is no unified structure or process to the current waitlist situation, with advice from parents in the community that have secured a placement being to harass the centres by calling every day.


This is a ridiculous amount of administration for both the primary caregivers and childcare centre staff.”


“Proving the sentiment of the Central Coast community, we have received an overwhelmingly positive response to the petition to date, garnering over 800 signatures in the first 5 days. However, we still have a way to go and urge members of our community to come forward and sign so we can get the funding required.”  said Ms. Coulson.


To sign the petition, visit https://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/la/Pages/ePetition-details.aspx?q=vVrR0Ee79YnP87bLcV0VSg