NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant says working from home is not a good enough reason for parents to send their children to childcare.
Dr Chant said at the media briefing on Wednesday, "We are also seeing [COVID] outbreaks in childcare centres and that's a feature haven't seen in previous outbreaks because the Delta strain seems to be able to transmit more in the childhood setting".
Responding to a question, she said, "I have been very clear that what we are asking the community to do is to not send children to childcare unless they absolutely need to.
"If they are just working from home, that wouldn't be in my mind a reason to do it.
"That is critical and, as I said, I want to see decreased attendance across all workplaces and I think this is a shared responsibility.
"Individuals, governments, us as individuals have a responsibility to do this."
Dr Chant's childcare message has created a huge debate on social media and mainstream media commentators are also weighing in.
2GB's Ray Hadley said parents "aren't" miracle workers" and couldn't work from home and care for children.
Hadley said if Dr Chant didn't want children to attend childcare, it should be made a rule.
In a column in The Sydney Morning Herald, freelance writer Polly Dunning said, "Surely, these difficult and dangerous times call on us all to do what we can to help. But what Chant is asking parents to do is, for many, simply not possible. It is not possible to maintain satisfactory job performance while simultaneously caring for infant children. Particularly if there is more than one infant child."
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