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news, local-news, news, education, bendigo, lisa chesters, early learning, jenny’s elc

Parents, educators and local politicians are voicing their concerns as early childhood learning centre staff are forced to take time off work through the Omicron wave. Jenny’s Early Learning Centre managing director Darren Reid said at least 25 per cent of their staff were unable to attend work as they were considered close contacts or have contracted the virus. “It makes things difficult for us because it’s not allowing us to give our children the best chance at the early education they deserve,” he said. More news: Greater Bendigo records 95 new cases on Monday, January 17, 2022 “These children that are up until five-years-old can’t be vaccinated against COVID-19 and we want to protect the most vulnerable.” Mr Reid said the centre had to fork out its own money to source rapid antigen tests for its staff. “We, like other individuals in the community, have had to search for rapid antigen tests that aren’t available in Bendigo,” he said. “It would be easier if we could ensure our staff were testing negative before coming to work and we knew our children and their families weren’t at risk.” Other stories: Bendigo MP Lisa Chesters said without support from the federal government, Bendigo could see more centres in trouble. “Nationally, the child care sector is in crisis, with reports that over 500 centres are now closed due to staff shortages caused by COVID-19 exposures,” she said. “Locally parents at some centres are being asked if they can keep their kids at home because of staff shortages. “Others are worried about long term viability with so many children and staff away. More news: ReclaimTheLine protesters gather at Bendigo’s Lake Weerona “The federal government must urgently develop a plan to ensure children and early educators are safe, and to prevent the collapse of the early learning sector. “Without early learning services, our economy will grind to a halt as parents are unable to go to work including nurses and healthcare workers.” Ms Chesters said early childhood educators needed to be on par with other essential workers and be considered a priority for vaccinations and receive more supplies. “The sector has been calling out for clarity and a plan from this government, in particular on an issue facing so many vital sectors – lack of access to rapid antigen tests,” she said. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:


(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2022-01-16 20:00:00


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