$66m to 6,000 services: Tudge comments on COVID-19 support measures for ECEC
The Federal Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge has commented on payments and supports made to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
More than $66 million has been paid out to almost 6,000 childcare services across areas of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns, the Minister said.
The fortnightly support payments allow childcare services in Commonwealth-declared hotspots to receive payments of 25 per cent of their pre-lockdown revenue. Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services are eligible for payments of 40 per cent.
These payments, the Minister said, are keeping services open, staff in work and providing financial relief for families.
“It is pleasing to see this money being delivered to the services and communities that really need it, and more support is on its way,” he added.
“Childcare and OSHC services are absolutely critical, especially during the pandemic, and allow essential workers to support the community while their children are safe and cared for. Many services have been doing it tough because of the extended lockdowns, and this extra support will help them and their staff through this challenging period.”
The payments are in addition to existing supports, such as additional allowable absences from care and gap fee waivers which allow Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy to continue even when children are not attending.
Payments are contingent on services:
- expecting attendance below 50 per cent
- waiving gap fees for all families whose children are not attending
- maintaining staffing levels
- agreeing to a fee freeze for the duration of support
- not accessing other Commonwealth Government funded COVID-19 business supports.
Payments have been made to 3226 services in NSW ($34 million), 2479 in Victoria ($29 million) and 264 in the ACT ($4 million).
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