Breaking: Recovery package announced for sector
We received this information from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment today:
A recovery package that provides continued support for families and the early childhood education and care sector has been announced today by Education Minister Dan Tehan.
The package includes a 25% recovery payment until 31 January 2021 for services in Victoria to help them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Outside school hours care (OSHC) services in Victoria will receive an extra payment of 15% of their pre-COVID revenue, taking their total support to 40% until the end of the school year.
Nationally, the eased activity test will be extended to 4 April 2021 to support families whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.
Also, should similar outbreaks emerge across Australia and restrictions come into force, financial support will be extended to support families and services.
What the package delivers for services in Victoria
The new package recognises that Victorian services are behind the recovery of the rest of the ECEC sector. That means some support measures will continue beyond 28 September 2020, based on service type and location.
OSHC services have been given special attention.
What the package means elsewhere
The evidence and feedback to the department indicates the sector, outside of Victoria, is recovering strongly.
Transition payments will end as scheduled on 27 September.
Should similar outbreaks occur elsewhere in the country, we will respond with support for families and services as needed.
Services at risk of imminent closure, temporary or permanent, can apply for support through the Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances program.
Services can waive gap fees if they are forced to close as a result of a public health directive, due to COVID-19, until 31 December 2020.
Services can also waive gap fees where a child is not attending for COVID-19 related reasons, if you are located in a Stage 3 or higher restricted area, until 31 December 2020.
This now does not apply to services located in regional Victoria from 11:59 16 September due to relaxation of restrictions.
While restrictions in regional Victoria ended on 16 September, we understand you may need time to adjust your business processes to start recovering the gap fee from families. However, from Saturday 26 September 2020, all providers and services in regional Victoria will be required to fully comply with their obligation to recover the gap fee for all families.
How you can stay informed
We will keep you informed through this newsletter and our website.
We will shortly provide another information session to share more detail about the recovery package.
Updates can always be found on our COVID-19 information page.
If you cannot find what you need there, services can contact the CCS Helpdesk by:
- Emailing //ccshelpdesk [at] dese.gov.au">ccshelpdesk [at] dese.gov.au
- Calling 1300 667 276 between 9am and 5pm on weekdays (AEST).