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There’s more news this morning of job losses in the childcare sector after a drop in attendance and funding during the Covid-19 crisis.

Uniting NSW.ACT, which provides community services on behalf of the Uniting church, has announced it is standing down 45 workers across its early learning services. This decision is effective from Monday and will apply for an initial four weeks, although the group will keep the workers on its books and hopes they can come back in the near future.

Rod Nadwie-Smith, the group’s head of early learning, said it was “heartbreaking to have to stand down some of our talented and committed team of educators”.

“What we need right now is certainty of funding so we can keep the remainder of our team engaged and employed and continue to provide our quality services to the 4,500 children and essential workers who rely on us,” he said.

The organisation employs 850 people at 56 early learning services across New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory but is not eligible for the jobkeeper wages subsidy because it provides a range of other services that have not been as badly affected.

A week ago, Nadwie-Smith told Guardian Australia the organisation had “held on” and sought to keep its centres open without standing down staff or closing services, but that was becoming increasingly difficult because of a projected $3m loss over the next three months.

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