- In June this year, Education Minister Dan Tehan announced a return to the old subsidy model for childcare from July 13, citing surging childcare demand reaching 74% of pre-pandemic capacity.
- With parents concerned over the education and future of their children and unaffordability of fees amidst job crisis, charting out a strategic plan and being pro-active can aid them mentally and financially.
- While formulating a strategic plan is a matter of high priority for parents, staying abreast with creative and flexible means of education also comes to the crunch for children’s welfare.
While parents are on their toes to ensure continuity of their kids’ schooling and learning amidst mounting financial crunch, scrapping of free childcare relief has brought forth another set of concerns.
Education Minister Dan Tehan announced a return to the old subsidy model for childcare from July 13, citing surging childcare demand reaching 74% of pre-pandemic capacity. Moreover, education sector seems to be the first on government’s target for the scrapping of JobKeeper package, contrary to Scott Morrison earlier hinting at wage subsidy benefits to be there till September 2020.
With parents concerned over the education and future of their children and unaffordability of fees amidst job crisis, charting out a strategic plan and being pro-active can aid them mentally and financially.
It is important that we circle the wagons and fight the fire, for the kids define future of the nation! Below is the seven-point plan for parents to ride through this wave of threat:
- Do not ignore bright spots- With the transition, there would be caps on fees at pre-pandemic levels, relief measures pumped into the system to protect struggling centres ($708mn extra funding, 25% of fee revenue), ceased work activity test until October 4, families with reduced incomes to pay fees covering only the gap between the subsidy and the cost of care, greater access to subsidies for eligible families.
- Job scenario might not be that bad- Treasury revised down blow to economy with jobless rate now expected to be 8%. Businesses are re-opening, while there is gradual recovery expected in the battered travel space with domestic tourism to begin with.
- Be smart with your career moves – For parents with lost jobs, it is advisable to keep your eyes and ears open for new jobs, look for online skill enhancement courses, along with freelance and contract-based work-from-home job options. Its all about plugging your skills for what’s in demand these days and being flexible.
- Up the game of Financial Management – One must be prepared for a wage cut or job loss during unprecented crisis. It is important to comprehensively assess finances, delineate the expenditure into essential and discretionary heads and create a contingency fund by perhaps liquidating some assets. Divide your financial goals and place them in order of priority. Debt management plays a crucial role here. Ensure resource savings and efficiency enhancement.
- Managing childcare costs – Trends are emerging in the child-friendly co-working spaces and childcare co-operatives encompassing services ranging from day care to academic learning programs, while campus style childcare centres may not be the apt model currently.
- Review investments strategically– Strategic portfolio rebalancing decisions and shift to safer avenues are critical in weathering the financial storm. Some long-term financial goals can be traded off for immediate short-term benefits.
- Be prepared for home schooling – While millions of children joined backed school with easing of restrictions, the possibility of sending kids to play school and preparatory schools is not feasible in near to mid-term. Thus, devoting time and resources to ensure dedicated homeschooling, work-life balance of the parents and managing screen time of online schooling from kids’ health perspective is important.
While formulating a strategic plan is a matter of high priority for parents, staying abreast with creative and flexible means of education also comes to the crunch for children’s welfare. Also bear in mind, taking decisive financial actions without freaking out can bring this seven-point plan to fruition.