Don’t call us, we’ll call you: DESE advice on receiving COVID-19 support payment
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) has advised service providers who are seeking COVID-19 related business continuity payments to refrain from contacting the CCS Helpdesk, saying simply “we’ll contact you with details on how to apply for payments”.
The advice relates to a recently announced support measure which outlined that, effective 23 August, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services will receive business continuity payments during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Business continuity payments will be made to services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 Hotspots if:
- the Commonwealth hotspot runs for more than seven days and the state or territory government has limited who can access childcare; or,
- the Commonwealth hotspot extends beyond 28 days.
Dates for business continuity payments in eligible regions have been made available to support services to ensure they are eligible.
In addition to the support measures from the Government, ECEC services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 Hotspots that run for more than seven days can waive gap fees for families who keep their children at home.
Gap fees can be waived from day one where the state or territory has restricted access to childcare. The decision to waive gap fees is one for the individual service.
Services directed to close by a local authority because of COVID-19 can also waive gap fees until 31 December 2021.
Childcare services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 Hotspots that run for more than seven days can access additional allowable absences. Additional absences are backdated to day one of the Commonwealth hotspot declaration.
Families can use these absences even if they have not used up their 42 days of allowable absences.
Visit the DESE website for information on the conditions for payments, gap fee waivers and additional allowable absences. Details about restrictions and how they affect ECEC operations can be found on the relevant state or territory COVID-19 response website.
For information about Australian Government support, go to the DESE COVID-19 webpage.