One of the country's largest providers of childcare has rejected a request from the Federal Government to hand back funding intended for wage increases.
Goodstart Early Learning was one of the number of providers that signed contracts with the former Labor government to access part of the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund.
The money was marked to give childhood educators and teachers in long day care centres a pay rise for two years.
On December 10, the Government announced it would redirect nearly all funding to professional development programs for staff.
Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley labelled Labor's scheme a "sham" and a "cruel hoax" that would have boosted the pay packets of less than a third of childcare workers.
The Government has invited providers that have signed contracts with the former government to hand back the money.
In a statement, Goodstart said it would not be giving back the $60 million it is entitled to.
It said that while training is important, so too is the payment of fair and professional wages.
-reprinted from ABC Online