Coober Pedy’s MINI-GEMS is one of eight council-run child care centres to receive financial assistance from the state government.
The State Government relief package will support child care centres across South Australia that have suffered significant loss of income due to the coronavirus.
The investment will see the State Government match the Commonwealth’s support under the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package (EECRP) for a period of 12 weeks, at a cost of around $700,000, up until 28 June this year and backdated to 6 April.
As part of local government, council-run child care centres are not eligible for the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment, meaning the financial impacts of remaining open have been more pronounced than for others in the sector.
Council-run child care centres employ a total of 137 people and support a capacity of almost 400 children across the state.
The investment will be provided through the Community and Jobs Support Fund, which forms part of the Marshall Government’s strong plan to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus.
Education Minister John Gardner said the support being provided was crucial in helping the eight centres to remain open during this challenging time.
“This investment will provide councils with certainty that these much needed child care services will remain in place for local families,” said Minister Gardner.
“Child care has been an essential service throughout the coronavirus pandemic, allowing parents to continue to work and support the state’s economy during this challenging time.
“This investment will particularly support our regional communities, with 7 out of 8 council-run centres located in regional areas, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to supporting South Australia’s regions.
“The Marshall Government has a strong plan to deal with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and this relief package is another important investment as part of that.”
The package will support the following council-run centres: Norwood Payneham St Peters, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Robe, Southern Mallee, Wattle Range, Coober Pedy and Karoonda East Murray.