Currently, Australian parents are able to access childcare and early education services for free through the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. It is important to note that childcare and early education services will cease being free from the 13th July 2020, and gap fees will be charged from that date.
What does this mean for families?
At present, you can send your child to childcare free of charge. You must continue to sign into our Kiosk as normal so we can keep a record of your session times. There will be no out of pocket gap fee charged to any family up until the 12th July 2020. Gap fees will be charged from the 13th July 2020.
If you choose to keep your child at home due to COVID-19 concerns, we will continue to hold your child’s position and mark their attendances as an Absentee. This will allow your Child Care Subsidy to recommence immediately once you return and the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package ceases. Please be advised absences under the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package commencing Monday 6thApril 2020, do not count against your allowable absent days for the 2019/2020 financial year.
Families who were previously receiving Additional Childcare Subsidy (ACCS) Child Wellbeing or Financial Hardship, will move across to the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. For families receiving ACCS child wellbeing, if between the 6thApril 2020 and 26thJune 2020 your ACCS is due to expire, a new application must be submitted. You must provide your Centre Director with supporting documentation by Friday 19thJune 2020 at the very latest.
You must keep your child’s immunisations up to date during this time.
What does this mean for families wanting to return to care?
Over the last few months many families decided to keep their children at home due to COVID-19 concerns. During this time, staff levels have significantly reduced due to the operational needs of our centre.
The Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package requires services to prioritise care to essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and previously enrolled children. If you are looking at returning to the centre, please contact your Centre Director to express an interest with a projected return date. It’s important that we assess each child as they return based on prioritisation criteria and staffing arrangements.
What does this mean for Parent Payments?
If you have paid your account up to the current billing cycle, no further payments will be debited. Credits will be held on to your account to secure your position at the centre to cover your recommencement of care under the Child Care Subsidy System. If you have an outstanding account, please speak with your Centre Director to arrange payment as soon as possible.
Does this include Vacation Care?
Vacation Care will also be included in the new arrangement.