The Australian Government has announced it will provide support for early childhood and education care services until 30 June 2022 because of the continued impact of COVID-19.
The additional supports relates to:
- gap fee waivers
Children will have 10 extra allowable absences for the 2021–22 financial year. This is on top of the standard 42 allowable absences and the additional allowable absences provided for families previously in a COVID-19 hotspot. These will be applied automatically.
If a state or territory restricts access to child care in a region for more than 7 days, more absences will be provided.
Gap fee waivers
Services can now waive gap fees for a child that does not attend care because they, or a member of their household, have been directed to isolate due to COVID-19.
This will apply for the duration of the isolation period as specified by the health advice.
Services can also waive gap fees and receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) where a child cannot attend care because the service, or a room within a service, is closed due to COVID-19 on advice from the state or territory government. This will apply for the duration of the closure outlined in the advice.
Services can continue to waive gap fees for children not attending care where a state or territory restricts access to child care in a region. This will apply from day one of restrictions (with any duration of time being eligible).
Children returning to care after lockdown
We encourage you to talk to your families about their plans for their child to return to care after lockdown.
Families in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory who are not returning to care can end their child’s enrolment up to 28 days after a COVID-19 hotspot ends without attending their last day in person.
This ensures families don’t incur large CCS debts for any days after the child last physically attends.