On the 28th June meeting Council received a report on the withdrawal of funding from Dec 31st for the Take-a-Break childcare program run by community and neighbourhood houses in Glen Eira and throughout the State. The below excerpts from the minutes of that meeting provide the background on this issue,
"The TAB occasional child care program is a State funded program which subsidises occasional child care.The funding is based on the average number of children attending and the number of hours of care offered.Occasional child care provides respite for parents and guardians of children agedfrom 0-6 years, enabling them to participate in a range of activities includingrecreational classes, activities, shopping, social events and voluntary communityactivities, whilst children are cared for in a registered child care service.
The TAB Child Care program is provided by approximately 220 neighbourhood houses and community centres throughout Victoria.
Until June 2010,the TAB program was jointly funded by the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments (40 / 60% respectively).In July 2010 the Commonwealth ceased funding the program and from July 2010the Victorian Government took over full funding for the program, approximately$1.9M.The 2011-12 State Budget has withdrawn funding for TAB occasional child care program effective from 31 December 2011.
In Glen Eira Six services receive TAB funding:
• Moongala Women’s Community House;
• Caulfield South Community House;
• Godfrey House;
• Murrumbeena House Occasional Care;
• McKinnon Occasional Care; and
• Caulfield Occasional Care centre;
These services provide care for over 300 children per week and will lose a total of $31,000 funding per annum.The TAB program assists in making occasional child care affordable. This service is used by many vulnerable families including those on low incomes, grandparent carers, and parents of children with a disability.
Services are anxious that the funding loss will result in either ceassation of service delivery or fee increase that will affect viability of the service.All service providers are concerned that the most vulnerable in the community will be impacted."
Comment: Unfortunately as with most inter govt funding issues it is the most vunerable in our community who miss out.The Federal and State govts should reinstate the Take-a-Break funding and Greens collegues at both levels are certainly advocating for this.
In the interim Council should place the interests of those in our community affected by the cuts above this dispute, fund the shortfall of $31k for 2012 whilst continuing to advocate strongly for full funding reinstatement.