DESE throws lifeline to ECEC providers not eligible for JobKeepers with new “Top up” options
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) have confirmed via email that some types of providers that were not eligible for JobKeeper payments will now receive an increase to the base ECEC Relief Package payments, regardless of whether they have submitted an application for Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payments or not.
The new funding mechanism will be made available to providers who are part of non-government schools and large charities/not for profit organisations who were not eligible for JobKeeper payments.
The ruling will come as a relief to organisations such as Uniting who operate extensive early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across multiple states but were unable to qualify for JobKeeper due to them being part of a larger charity organisation that hadn’t met the decline in revenue requirements.
Providers who are part of non-government schools will automatically receive the top up payment as part of their weekly ECEC Relief Package payments, and providers who are part of larger charities, like Uniting, will be contacted directly by DESE and asked to confirm they were not eligible for JobKeeper payments, after which their ECEC Relief Package payments will be topped up.
It is not clear how much additional funding these organisations will receive, but there will be a seperate back payment made to cover the period from 6 April 2020.
DESE also provides clarity on other key groups not eligible for JobKeeper
With regards to services operated by local governments, family day care (FDC) and in home care (IHC) educators, and new services that were not eligible for JobKeeper payments previously DESE has provided the following commentary:
- Local Government run services – These services cannot get extra support based on JobKeeper eligibility. They can however apply for Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payments where they have more children attending and/or a significant increase in the hours of attendance compared to the reference period.
- FDC and IHC services – Services with educators (sole traders/contractors) that are ineligible for JobKeepers cannot get extra support based on JobKeeper ineligibility. They can however apply for Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payments as long as their educators apply for an Australian Business Number (ABN) by 1 June 2020.
- New services – The rules for new services have not changed. Services that are new can apply for ECEC Relief Package payments, with the reference period usually being the first two weeks of full operation. If demand increases after the reference period additional support can be applied for.
Detailed guidance for these changes will be found on the ATO website here.