Tehan announces new helpline to support essential workers find local care
Families seeking early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in their local area during the COVID-19 pandemic will be supported to do so through the introduction of a new helpline, announced yesterday by Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan.
The helpline, which will give families advice on services available in their local area, including centre-based day care, family day care, outside school hours care and vacation care, can be reached by dialing 1800 291 041.
Run by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the helpline is available from 9am to 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday, and builds on online services like ChildCareFinder and StartingBlocks, which some families may already use to search for available child care or early education places.
Mr Tehan emphasised that anyone who still has a job is considered to be an essential worker, and that the Government “doesn’t want parents or carers having to decide between putting food on the table or caring for their children”.
“The expert medical advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is that child care services should remain open, with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place,” he added.
More information about the Helpline is available here.