Closing rooms because of COVID? Make sure to get it in writing to allow gap fee waivers

Closing rooms because of COVID? Make sure to get it in writing to allow gap fee waivers

by Freya Lucas

January 21, 2022

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) services who are closing a room or rooms of their service because of staffing challenges arising from COVID-19 are being reminded that they can only waive gap fees for the affected families if they have written advice from a Government Agency advising them that they may do so. 

 

This important clarification is outlined in a Department of Skills, Education and Employment communication which was updated on 13 January 2022 . The relevant extract (with added emphasis provided by Twitter account @KeikoServices) is shown below: 

Underpinning this communication is Schedule 3 of the Ministers Rules, titled “Temporary Coronavirus Response Measures”, Part 2.2 “Exemption from enforcing payment of hourly session fees—services advised or required to close”. 

 

Part 2.1 of the rules outlines a number of different scenarios whereby services are exempt from enforcing payment. These are relevant where an individual child has to isolate or quarantine as directed by a health agency for example.

 

Services who have been, or who are intending to, waive the gap fees for families in affected room/s may be in breach of the relevant legislation and governance rules in relation to Child Care Subsidy (CCS) . 

 

The Keiko Services Twitter account may be accessed here. The Sector thanks Karl Hessian for his contribution to this piece. 


For more information in relation to CCS compliance and COVID-19, see here

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