Government issues ‘messaging for families’ script to support ECEC Relief Package rollout
The Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment have issued information to all providers via email, designed for providers to pass on to families following the 2 April announcement of the ECEC Relief Package.
The Stakeholder Engagement and Education team from the Department shared the information, asking services to encourage families to visit servicesaustralia.gov.au with any questions in relation to the care of their child/ren under the new package.
Core elements of the messaging include:
- “Much-needed fee relief” for families while “supporting services to keep their doors open and employees in their jobs”
- From 6 April to 28 June 2020, families won’t need to pay fees to access childcare.
- Priority care for essential workers, vulnerable and disadvantaged children and previously enrolled children
- Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy won’t be paid during this time
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (Temporary Financial Hardship) only paid until 5 April 2020.
For families who have current enrollment in the service, no further action is required, the Department said, directing families to “please keep attending as you need”.
Families who had previously withdrawn from care in light of COVID-19 concerns should speak with their service leader, the advice read, saying “any families who are re-enrolling will need to confirm their new enrolment with Services Australia in their Centrelink online account through myGov.”
Importantly, the advice informs parents that although they will no longer be receiving Child Care Subsidy, they should “make sure they stay eligible” by:
- continuing to care for your child at least 14 per cent of the time
- meeting immunisation requirements
- telling Services Australia if they have a change in circumstances.
Child Care Subsidy, according to the information supplied by the Department, will recommence 29 June 2020 as long as families “stay eligible.”
“You should continue to update your family income estimate with Services Australia as necessary, especially if you get Family Tax Benefit. You can do that online in your Centrelink online account through myGov,” the advice continued, before directing families to visit Services Australia for more information.