Floods: support payment announced for early childhood sector

This content was published on Wednesday 9 March 2022. There may be more recent updates available.

The Australian Government has announced a $10,000 ECEC Flood Support Payment for services in flood-affected regions that close for more than 7 days.

Current emergencies

We’ve declared new Local Area Emergencies (LAE) for more areas in New South Wales and Queensland following flooding and severe rainfall. We've also extended existing LAEs.

See our table of emergency declarations for a full list of regions and dates eligible for support.

Support available

We’re providing extra support during LAEs between 23 February and 30 June 2022. Services and families in LAE-declared regions can access the support measures below.

Please continue to submit session reports as usual. Emergency support, including additional absences, will be processed in the system soon.

Support payments

ECEC Flood Support Payments of $10,000 are available to services in flood-affected regions that close for more than 7 days due to flooding. If your service is located in an eligible region, you will receive an offer before 18 March.

Services must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the payment:

  • be located in an LAE-declared region after 23 February
  • close for more than 7 days due to flooding – this could be due to physical damage to buildings, staff shortages or school closures
  • waive the gap fee for families for the duration of the flood-related closure
  • agree to provide priority access to families impacted by flooding, for example if a family relocates temporarily but wishes to resume their enrolment in the future.

Services that need further support can apply for a Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances grant. Applicants should apply for a CCCF grant after an event has occurred and they have accessed other disaster support.


Children who live, or attend a service, in an LAE-declared region will get extra allowable absences for the duration of the LAE. They will be automatically applied in the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) System shortly.

This means families won’t have to use any of their 52 allowable absences during the LAE.

Gap fees

Services in an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child does not attend, or the service is closed.

Services outside an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child that lives within an LAE-declared region does not attend care.

Financial support for families

Affected families may be eligible for extra help with the cost of child care through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship). Families must apply directly to Centrelink.

Other support

The Australian Government provides payments and help for people affected by natural disasters. Find out if you’re eligible for support on the Services Australia website.

The NSW and Queensland Governments have support for individuals and businesses impacted by a natural disaster. Find out if you’re eligible for support on your state government website:

For action

  • Let us know if you temporarily close your service. You can do this via the Provider Entry Point (PEP) or your third-party software. You also need to tell your state or territory regulatory authority.
  • Update your contact details, particularly email addresses, in the Child Care Subsidy System so you don’t miss important information. Do this via the PEP or your third-party software.
  • Update your vacancy details on StartingBlocks.gov.au. Do this via the PEP or your third-party software.
  • Ask families to maintain their enrolments. This will ensure their children receive continuity of care and early learning.
  • Keep an eye on the state government websites for current emergency information in your region:
  • Learn more about help for the early childhood sector during an emergency on our website.

We’re monitoring the situation and will provide updates as required.