An error in a government letter sparked fears 11 educators and 140 children would lose their positions at family day care centres in Orange, Blayney and Molong.
The coordinators of Cabonne/Blayney Family Daycare, which has centres in Orange, reacted with shock when they received an email from the NSW Education Department on March 14 announcing a cap on the number of educators.
“We have unfortunately been capped at 15 educators,” the coordinators said in a message to their educators.
“As we have 26 educators, we ask everyone not to stress about their positions with us just yet.
“We promise we are going to fight this educator cap with everything we have got, but we cannot promise our fight will be successful.”
They called for letters of support from educators, welcomed them from families and contacted Cabonne Council to seek its help.
Orange educator Leanne Gilmour was among those affected and she contacted the Central Western Daily.
“Eleven of us will be without jobs and that means 140 kids will be without care,” she said.
“And the centres are full, we’ve got a huge waiting list.”
She said they only had been given until the end of March to comment.
However, when the Central Western Daily contacted the Education Department on Wednesday it was revealed the government letter contained an error and no cuts to the service were planned.
The department contacted the group soon after.
Mrs Gilmour said she was relieved the cuts would not happen but the initial email had caused a lot of pain.
“It had a huge impact,” she said.
“It just caused a lot of stress for everybody, including the parents.
“Some educators were starting to look around for other jobs.”
The Education Department has not publicly apologised for the incident and did not explain the error.
It said the email was intended to “clarify educator numbers.”
“No local government family day care services have had their educator numbers cut as part of this process,” a spokesman said.
Cabonne Mayor Kevin Beatty said council had sought clarification from the department and had been told the number of educators would not be reduced.
He said council would continue to liaise with the government to ensure the current level was retained.