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A Trial of Flexible ECE (out-of-hours and weekend) Fails to Meet Targets for Participation

An Australian $5.5 million taxpayer funded trial to provide evening and weekend childcare in early childhood education centres and home-based ECE appears to have flopped with less than one-fifth of the 500 families targeted participating.

Many families wanted after-hours care on an-ad hoc basis but ECE providers needed a regular commitment to make it viable to be open for extended hours. Convenience was an issue for families who found that where the ECE providers were based was not always where they needed the care.

The 12-month trial introduced by the Gillard government last June is being allowed to run its course. 

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