NSW floods: Local Area Emergency expanded

This content was published on Wednesday 31 March 2021. There may be more recent updates available.

On 23 March 2021, we declared a Local Area Emergency (LAE) for the period 22 March 2021 to 4 April 2021 for all child care services located in the following 34 local government areas in New South Wales:

Armidale,  Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Cumberland, Dungog Shire, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Lake Macquarie, Liverpool, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Sutherland, Tenterfield, The Hills, and Wollondilly.

On 31 March 2021, we expanded the LAE to include the following 26 local government areas in New South Wales.

Ballina, Bathurst, Bega Valley, Brewarrina, Byron, Cabonne, Cobar, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes Severn, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Kyogle, Lismore, Liverpool Plains, Moree Plains, Narrabri, Oberon, Orange, Richmond Valley, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Tweed, Walcha, Walgett, and Wingecarribee.

Services in these areas may be required to close by local authorities, or families cannot travel.

Families attending services in these areas will have access to additional absences during the LAE period if they have used their allowance of 42 absences.

Learn more about absences during times of emergency 

The Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity helps services stay open when something unexpected happens, such as a local emergency. 

Learn more about this grant and how to apply

If services close

If you close your service, you must report the closure within 24 hours to:

Support for providers and services

For more information about help available before, during and after an emergency visit our help in an emergency page.

Support for families

Families affected by the floods may be eligible to receive additional support with the cost of child care through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship). Families must apply directly to Centrelink.

A range of payments and services is available for individuals recovering from a major disaster. More information on emergency payments is available on the Services Australia website.

Also, the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is available to eligible Australians adversely affected by the storms and floods. Visit the Disaster Assist website for details.

Families looking for alternative child care options during an emergency can visit Starting Blocks or Child Care Finder.