G8 Education pledges to pass on deviation fee waivers in full as COVID continues
G8 Education confirmed that it will pass on the full federal late fee waiver to families enrolled in services located in areas declared as COVID-19 hotspots by the Commonwealth government for more than seven days.
The supplier also engaged to extend a 35% reduction on fees to families who have chosen to keep children at home during the period between the declaration of a foreclosure and the start of the seven-day provision, and / or because the zone had not yet been declared as a hot spot.
The measures, said G8 Education CEO Gary Carroll, were intended to ease the pressure on families to make choices that would help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in communities by limiting travel.
“It is essential that our centers remain open to vulnerable children, essential workers and those who cannot work from home,” said Carroll.
“Many families who work remotely have kept their children at home, but we also respect the decisions of those who cannot perform their jobs adequately while juggling infant and toddler care. “
He acknowledged that extending the deviation fee waiver would come at a considerable cost to the business, a point highlighted in a recent article in the Sydney Morning Herald, which called attention to the significant financial cost that the lockdown, particularly in New South Wales, had on the wider early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector.
“The G8 Education has the advantage of scale and is able to absorb some losses in the short term, but this is not sustainable in the long term,” Carroll said.
“We have critically examined operations to see where we can achieve savings without compromising the quality of education and care, and we remain hopeful that the federal government will provide a support program that will support the sector.”
Mr. Carroll has been candid about the supplier’s obligations to its employees, saying G8 Education has made “a non-negotiable commitment” to retain all permanent team members.
He spoke of the high level of stress employees are feeling during these difficult times, commenting that “the last thing they need right now is uncertainty over job security.”
“As an organization, we have a duty to support our G8 team members and we are focused on the future, when the need for quality ECEC will be greater than ever. “
“The early learning sector will have a vital role to play in the country’s economic recovery, but it cannot make this contribution without educators and teachers,” Carroll said in conclusion.
For more information on the experience of various vendors with the variance fee waiver provision, please see here.