The Federal Government is unlikely to extend its free childcare system past the end of June.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said the $1.6 billion scheme is not sustainable and was only ever introduced as a temporary measure during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The package was announced in the early days the crisis as attendance rates dropped and childcare operators warned they could collapse.

The scheme has meant that childcare was free for parents and centres would receive 50 per cent of their normal subsidy amount.

Participating centres agreed to continue to operate, not charge fees and prioritise care for the children of essential workers.

The government has now said it’s unlikely he scheme will be extended as demand is starting to increase as parents head back o work.

Early Childhood Australia CEO Samantha Page told Channel 7 that the scheme should be extended in line with JobKeeper payments as parents are facing financial difficulty.

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“The difficulty with the old system is that parents in financial hardship have to apply for extra support and that has failed us during floods or bushfires.”

“When we’ve had a spike in demand of families needing support the system simply hasn’t been able to cope.”

“The system was designed for a low unemployment – I’m just not sure that’s going to be the case in July.”

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