The Federal Government has just announced a relief package for the child care and early childhood education sector (‘child care sector’). The relief package is designed to:
- provide free child care to around one million families; and
- ensure that as many of the child care sector’s 13,000 child care and early learning services as possible keep their doors open for families that need to work and to support vulnerable children during the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister’s Media Release also advises that, families who have terminated any child’s enrolment since 17 February 2020 should get in contact with the relevant centre to re-start the child’s enrolment. Furthermore, re-starting a child’s enrolment:
- will not require families to send their children to child care;
- will not require families to pay a gap fee; and
- will hold the child’s place at the centre for the point in time when things start to normalise and families are ready to take their children back to their centre.
In a separate media statement, the Minister for Education, Dan Tehan, also indicated that means testing arrangements to access the child care subsidy for those who are working during the six-month Coronavirus pandemic will no longer be in place.
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