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Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

Written by Sarah Pogson . April 05, 2020
4 min read

The Federal Government has recently announced the new Early Childhood and Education and Care Relief Package. Under this package, Early Childhood Education and Care Provider costs will be covered by the Government from Monday 6 April 2020 to the week ending 28 June 2020. This support package is worth $1.6 billion.

Below we will provide the current details available and outline what this could mean for you and your family.

Contents

What is Included Under the Package?

  • From 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, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs. 
  • Payments will be based on 50 per cent of services’ fee revenue or 50 per cent of the existing hourly rate cap, whichever is lower, based on the fortnight before 2 March 2020.
  • The Government will also make payments of higher amounts (to the 50 per cent) available in exceptional circumstances, such as where greater funding is required due to an increase in enrolments to meet demand to address the needs of essential workers or vulnerable children.
  • Gap fees up to and including 5 April 2020 can be waived for families due to the impact of COVID-19, and can go back as far as 23 March 2020.

What does this mean for you?

If you have children who attend an Early Child Care Provider, the cost of this will now be covered under this relief package. Note that priority will be given to working parents, vulnerable and disadvantaged children that need early education more than ever and parents with pre-existing enrolments.

What If I Have Terminated Already?

The NSW Government have advised to re-enroll your children for those who have terminated their enrollment since 17 February 2020. Re-starting your enrollment doesn't require you to send your child to child care and will not result in a gap fee, however it does hold your place for that point in time when things start to normalise, and you are ready to take your child back to their centre.

What is expected of Early Childhood & Education providers?

As per the Department of Education, Skills and Employment FAQs guide for Providers, in order to receive the payment you must:

  • Stay open, with at least one active enrolment, unless closed on public health advice or for other health and safety reasons
  • Ensure families are not charged a fee, including an out of pocket or gap fee
  • Continue and prioritise care to essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and previously enrolled children
  • Continue to record attendance of children
  • Comply with all other provider obligations including National Quality Framework and other relevant conditions of approval under Family Assistance Law.

Providers do not need to apply to receive payments. Payments will be made automatically on a weekly basis. Information for Childcare Providers can be found here.

If you would like to discuss the above details our team is available to assist you. Please don't hesitate to talk with us on (02) 4229 2211 or you can send us your enquiry online.

*The above information was correct at the time of publishing and subject to change*
Written by Sarah Pogson . April 05, 2020
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