Child care support continues to aid COVID recovery

The Morrison Government will provide an additional $305.6 million for families and child care providers to deliver hip pocket relief and ensure the sector remains open to help drive the COVID-19 recovery.

The Child Care Recovery Package includes additional and targeted support for Victorian providers in light of the second wave lockdown.

The package includes:

  • A Recovery Payment of 25 per cent of pre-COVID revenue to child care services in Victoria, until 31 January 2021. The Recovery Payment will start for Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care and In Home Care on 28 September in Victoria. The 40 per cent Recovery Payment for Outside School Hours Care will also start in Victoria when in-school teaching returns (anticipated to be mid to late October).
  • An extra payment of 15 per cent of pre-COVID revenue for Victorian Outside School Hours Care services, increasing their total support payments to 40 per cent of revenue.
  • A child care fee freeze for Victorian families until 31 January.
  • Continuing the Employment Guarantee to ensure that Victorian providers receiving the recovery payment pass support payments on to educators and employees through wages and payments.
  • The relaxation of the activity test for Australian families whose activity level has been impacted by COVID-19 will be extended to 4 April 2021.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Australian Government had already invested $2.6 billion to support families using child care and the Early Childhood Education and Care sector, helping workers and vulnerable families who rely on these services.

“Victorian families and providers will continue to be supported by the Federal Government so they can get back on their feet following the second wave,” Mr Tehan said.

“Already the Federal Government has provided $205 million in support for Victorian families and child care services to keep families connected to care and services open and viable.

“When this pandemic began, our Government acted quickly to prevent the collapse of child care, keeping 99 per cent of services open across Australia.

“Thanks to the hard work of all Australians in flattening the curve across the country, we have returned to our pre-COVID settings and some child care providers are now caring for more children than before the pandemic.

“Outside of Victoria, the number of attendance hours continues to rise steadily with attendance levels at Centre Based Day Care at 108 per cent of pre-COVID levels.

“The Child Care Subsidy provides the most support to the families that earn the least.

“By easing the activity test Australian families can continue to access up to 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if their work, study or training hours have been impacted compared to their pre COVID-19 activity.

“Around Australia, services at risk of imminent closure can apply for additional support through the Community Child Care Fund special circumstances program.”

Child care services can waive gap fees until 31 December 2020 if their service has been closed at the direction of a health authority. Services that remain under stay-at-home directions can waive the gap fee until the direction ceases or 31 December 2020.

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