NT announces $10,000 operator grants to support ECEC providers navigate COVID-19
The Northern Territory Government has offered one-off grants of up to $10,000 to NT early childhood education and care (ECEC) operators to support them through the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
The top-up grants are designed to help support the sector offset the costs of supplies, cleaning and maintenance, which have increased due to the pandemic, and a decline in enrolments, a Government spokesperson said.
NT Minister for Health Natasha Fyles said that throughout the COVID-19 crisis, early childhood education carers and educators “have been the Territory’s unsung heroes”.
“They have continued to open their doors and their arms to young children in what has been a stressful time for many families and for themselves. We know there are some Territory operators concerned about the future viability of their services so we are reaching out to help them through this time,” she continued.
Expert advice is also available to offer providers dedicated support to guide operators through the process of accessing Australian Government funding such as the JobKeeper payment and the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, the spokesperson added.
This is in addition to guaranteeing the $5.4 million NT Early Childhood Services Subsidy, which will continue to be paid to NT childcare operators at pre-pandemic enrolment levels.
“Keeping our child care and early learning centres open and safe is pivotal for our essential Territory workers to be able to continue to keep Territorians safe while knowing their children are in a safe environment too,” Ms Fyles said.
Application forms and guidelines for the $10,000 top-up grants will be provided to the 150 NT ECEC service providers who are operated by non-government entities, ranging from school councils, sole traders and small, not-for-profit community-based organisations through to large, for-profit organisations, by email.
Demonstrated hardship criteria applies and operators have until 22 June to submit applications.
For more information, please see the NT Department of Education website.