COVID-19 information for the early childhood education and care sector

COVID-19 information for the early childhood education and care sector

The Australian Government has implemented measures throughout 2020 to help the early childhood education and care sector manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These measures included a Relief Package (6 April to 12 July), a Transition Payment (13 July to 27 September 2020), and a Recovery Package (28 September to 31 January 2021).

Recovery Package (28 September 2020 – 31 January 2021)

The Recovery Package provides continued support for the sector, and includes:

For more information, visit the Recovery Package page.

Transition Package (13 July 2020 – 27 September 2020)

The sector returned to CCS with support from a Transition Package on 13 July 2020.

In addition to CCS payments, approved providers received a 25% Transition Payment instead of JobKeeper Payments.

The Transition Package helped the sector’s strong recovery. Aside from Victoria, at a national level attendance had returned to pre-COVID levels.

More details on the Transition Package are available in the Transition Payment Guidelines.

Relief Package (6 April 2020 – 12 July 2020)

The Australian Government responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020 with the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. The Relief Package ended on 12 July 2020.

A review found the Relief Package helped keep services open and viable, with 99% of 13,400 services operational as of 27 May 2020.

Information for families

Nationally, the activity test has been eased until 4 April 2021 for Australian families whose employment has been affected by COVID-19. Affected families can access up to 100 hours of subsidised child care, per child, per fortnight.

This support is available for two-parent families, where one or both parents can no longer engage in the same hours of activity as they did before COVID-19, and where both parents are engaging in at least eight hours of recognised activity per fortnight.

Families can apply for the extra hours by using their Centrelink online account through myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app. Families experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy.

Families can search for child care services near them through Starting Blocks or Child Care Finder.

Stay in touch

Update your contact details (particularly email addresses) in the Child Care Subsidy System so you don’t miss important information. Do this via the Provider Entry Point or through your third-party software.

You can also subscribe to communications from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

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