Child care support from the federal government is a timely boost for families battling the coronavirus pandemic
Child care support from the federal government is a timely boost for families battling the coronavirus pandemic

Feds step in to care for your kids

KEEPING families financially afloat and function is at the heart of the Australian Government’s child care package according to Noosa federal MP Llew O’Brien.

This will see the Federal Government will pay services that continue to operate and do not charge families for care. This means working parents of children who were enrolled in childcare in the fortnight leading up to March 2 will receive childcare for free.

Services will receive payments based on 50 per cent of their average fees, up to a maximum of the hourly rate cap, based on enrolments in the fortnight before 2 March.

“This new child care package, combined with the $130 billion JobKeeper payment to keep employees in their jobs, will help ensure child care services in Wide Bay can keep their doors open and staff employed, so they are available when they are needed,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Government will also:

  • Allow childhood education and care services to waive out-of-pocket fees for families where the centre is open, but children aren’t attending because of COVID-19.
  • Provide $453.2 million for preschools in 2021 to support almost 350,000 children to attend preschool.

“Child care services need to remain open and not charge families fees if they accept the Government’s payment,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This will provide much-needed fee relief for families in Wide Bay, and ensures children can continue attending services and their parents can continue working and help our economy recover faster.”

The current expert medical advice is that the child care sector should remain open except where individual services have been directed to close by health authorities.

The new system is expected to begin on 6 April, with payments to start flowing at the end of the week. The system will be reviewed after one month, with an extension to be considered after three months. The payments will be paid in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.

Child care services information about COVID-19 should contact the 24/7 National coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Information is also available from https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19.


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