Two-year wait: Childcare program in crisis
QUEENSLAND'S in-home childcare program is in crisis as major providers shut their doors and waitlists for subsidised nannies blow out.
Parents and providers say the Federal Government's new childcare package, which came into effect in July, has been devastating for the in-home childcare program, set-up to provide subsidised home-based care for families who could not access mainstream childcare because of their location, illness or disability.
One Brisbane mother who has been referred by doctors to the in-home childcare scheme because her 18-month-old son's immune system is unable to cope with childcare, was told this month it would be at least two years before a carer would be appointed to her son.
Major in-home childcare providers including Wesley Mission and the YMCA have confirmed all services now have waitlists of around two years and said the situation was set to become more dire as the Federal Government looks to further reduce the number of subsided nanny places in Queensland from 847 to 609 over the next two years.
However Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan rejected the claims from parents and providers, saying there had been no funding cuts.
"There is not a two-year waitlist for new families in Queensland to access the In Home Care program," Mr Tehan said.
Wesley Mission Queensland's In-home Child Care manager Ro Anderson said it was a necessary service for vulnerable families.
Three of Brisbane's six major providers of in-home care have made the decision to close since the new childcare scheme came into effect.
YMCA said it was unable to continue "in a financially sustainable manner due to recent regulatory changes including funding cuts".