COVID-19: Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package
As the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Australians continues the Australian Government has announced its support to parents with a new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.
The package announced on Thursday 2 April 2020, aims to provide financial relief for parents and keep early childhood education workers employed. The childcare overhaul and JobKeeper payments to early childhood education workers will see the sector receive an estimated $1.6 billion over three months.
Starting Monday 6 April 2020, weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy in order to help keep doors open and staff employed.
These payments will continue until the end of the 2019-2020 financial year and during this time families will not be charged their usual fees.
In addition to these payments, and up to and including 5 April 2020, services are able to waive gap fees for families as a result of the impacts of COVID-19. This payment backdates as far as 23 March 2020 and is in addition to other changes announced.
While details are scarce, what we do know is parents who have an existing relationship with a childcare centre, and their child is attending that centre will be eligible for ‘free care’. There is no need to apply as payments will be paid automatically under the new system.
As for childcare service providers, there is also no application process required. Payments from the Government will be paid automatically.
More information on this latest package can be found here.
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