Outraged parents of children at a Woonona child care centre say the "sudden" fee hikes and potential changes to staff following the recent sale of the business could disrupt.
The Mercury has sighted written advice sent to parents last Wednesday June 5, informing them Tiny Tots Early Learning Centre had been bought by Little Peoples and a transfer of service would happen on Friday June 21. The business was officially sold in April.
The correspondence also outlined there would be no changes to service and all staff would remain.
They can't even tell us who the new teachers will be, yet they've asked us to enroll our children.Concerned mum Nikki Phillips
On Thursday, two Little Peoples representatives met with parents at the centre and informed them current employees would not be kept on automatically, though staff had been given the option to reapply for roles after June 21.
"We were lied to, we were misled, the staff weren't given any notice, the staff are the important part for my child - that's who they bond with," concerned mother Niki Phillips said.
An "information pack" was also handed to parents notifying them fees would rise in excess of 25 per cent, despite a price rise already occurring in April.
Ms Phillips said at the beginning of the year it cost $76 per day for her five-year-old to attend the centre. This was increased to $83 in April, and would now be $105 after June 21.
"They can't even tell us who the new teachers will be, yet they've asked us to enrol our children," she said. "The most import thing for our children is that they've got that trust and love relationships with the teachers."
More than 20 parents have requested in writing and verbally for a group meeting with the impending childcare operators before June 21 to discuss the changes and what it means for their child. They were refused in writing.
Other parents who spoke to the Mercury had similar concerns and expressed their heartbreak at the decisions, given the time and effort it took them in choosing the centre to suit their income and their child.
"I followed all the process that you're meant to, to have a smooth transition into pre-school and now I'm not being given the choice," said a mother who wished not to be named.
"I can't enroll my daughter into another centre, there are no spaces in the Northern Illawarra, and so Little Peoples are just using that position of power to force you to do whatever they want."
The Mercury has sighted correspondence from parents to the NSW Department of Education and initial replies from the department. They were contacted for further comment by the Mercury though did not respond to the questions.
The Mercury had contacted the current owner of Tiny Tots as well as Little Peoples for comment but received no response by deadline.
The Federal Department of Education and Training was also contacted for comment and responded with the following:
"While the Australian Government plays an important role in assisting families with the costs of child care through the Child Care Subsidy ... questions about the service's business decisions should be referred directly to the service."