The government announced the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package on 2 April 2020.
Due to COVID-19, the sector has reported significant decreases in attendance (with parents still paying fees) and enrolments (where parents have ceased enrolment due to being unable to continue paying the fees). These payments will ensure services can remain open and families who need it can access care.
From this week, payments will be made directly to providers in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy. Payments will be made until the end of the 2019/20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time. These payments will complement the JobKeeper payment announced by the Prime Minister on 30 March 2020.
The Prime Minister’s media release also advised that families who have terminated any child’s enrolment since 17 February 2020 should get in touch with the relevant centre to re-start the child’s enrolment. Re-starting a child’s enrolment will not require families to send their children to child care, will not require families to pay a gap fee and will hold the child’s place at the centre for the point in time when things start to normalise and families are ready to take their children back to their centre.
For Child Care and Early Education Providers
What do I have to do to receive the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payment?
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 worked, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and previously enrolled children
- Continue to record attendance of children
- Comply with all other provide obligations
You do not need to apply. Payments will be made automatically on a weekly basis.
When will I start receiving the payment and for how long?
From the week beginning 6 April 2020 until the week ending 28 June 2020
How will I receive the payment?
The payment will be paid in your childcare service bank account (the same account the Child Care Subsidy is currently paid into)