COVID-19 – Support for providers

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  Published on Tuesday, 24 March 2020

COVID-19 – Support for providers

Library Home  >  Health, Wellbeing & NutritionGovernment Policy & Quality Standards
  Published on Tuesday, 24 March 2020

The Australian Government has announced a range of measures to support parents and early childhood education and care providers affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan says the measures have been introduced to ensure services remain viable and can pay staff in the case of forced closures.   

The situation as it currently stands means early childhood education and care services are open, except where individual services have been directed to close by health authorities.

New support measures will:

  • increase the number of days that a family can continue to claim the Child Care Subsidy in cases where a child is absent from child care for more than the currently allowable 42 days
  • give families access to additional absences, without the need for evidence, in relation to COVID-19
  • waive the current obligation of child care services to require a family to pay gap fees if the service is forced to close.

In addition, early childhood education and care providers will continue to be paid the Child Care Subsidy, which can be up to 85 per cent of the daily cost of a child’s care, if they are directed to temporarily close, because of COVID-19.

The minister said the changes would ensure families continue to receive support during the COVID-19 crisis, even if their children can’t attend care, and that early childhood services remain viable and can re-open once it is safe to do so.

"These reforms will support the families of the 1.3 million children in child care, and the 200,000 staff in the early childhood education and care sector,” he said.

It’s important to note that this federal government assistance will only apply where the closure of a child care service is based on public health advice, not where the centre closes voluntarily.

"All early childhood education and care services should follow the advice from their state or territory authorities on matters related to COVID-19,” said Mr Tehan.

Early childhood providers seeking health and situation information about COVID-19 should contact the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 or click here for online information.

Dedicated information for the early childhood sector including an information sheet, FAQs and a recording of a COVID-19 information session for providers are available here.

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 01 October 2020



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