Victorian Premier announces second permit needed for families requiring ECEC
In a press conference held this afternoon, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews shared that many children who would typically attend early childhood education and care (ECEC) services will not be able to over the next six weeks, also announcing that families wishing to access on-site ECEC will require a second permit, over and above their permitted worker permit, to access education and care for their child/ren.
“There will need to be — and I can today announce — there will be many, many families who will not be able to access childcare as they normally would and that is essential to driving down movement, it is essential to driving down these numbers,” Mr Andrews said.
“What I can say though is there will be a further permit system, a simple process, but if you are a permitted worker, regardless of whether you are working in person or from home and you attest that there is no-one else in your household that can look after your children, you will be able with that very simple permit to access childcare.
“I know that that will mean that many people who have been using childcare and rely upon childcare will not be able to do that.
“These rules, I should stress, also apply to kinder and they will essentially apply to primary school students attending school and doing remote and flexible learning in a supervised environment outside their home.
“I know this will cause significant concern and it will be very challenging for many families, but if I were to simply greenlight the best part of a quarter of a million kids going to and from childcare every day we will not drive these numbers down.”
A number of journalists attending the press conference asked clarifying questions, such as if in a two parent home, each parent needed two permits to access ECEC.
If the second parent is not capable of providing care, the Premier said, the child or children concerned would be able to access ECEC, however the Premier asked that parents act in good faith, as it is difficult to legislate for the individual circumstances of every family.
Using his own personal family circumstances, the Premier noted that as a full-time, permitted worker with a partner who works part time, his children would be able to access childcare on the days when his part-time working partner was working and was unable to change their working arrangements, however it was important to reduce the number of people moving around in the community, to minimise COVID-19 exposure.
The Premier asked families to consider if there was any way in which their children could be cared for in the home, reminding them that penalties were in place for making false statements about the need for education and care during the Stage 4 lockdown measures.
He further clarified that permitted workers may be working from home or working from a premises, and that if permitted workers were unable to undertake their duties while caring for their children, they would be able to access ECEC.
Permits, in relation to accessing ECEC, will be made available this afternoon to parents, the Premier said. Once the permits are available, they will be linked to here.
The Sector will continue to cover announcements and policy changes as they come to light. To access all relevant statements and transcripts from the Victorian Government, please see here.