Government announces immediate support for ECEC as floods again impact NSW
The Australian Government will provide immediate support to families and early childhood education and care (ECEC) services impacted by flooding in New South Wales.
The emergency support and services will be available to families in the 23 LGAs that have been declared natural disaster areas in NSW. The Department of Education will monitor closely and extend to new areas if required.
The support means:
- Services can waive gap fees for children not attending care during an emergency (including when the service is closed)
- Families will receive additional paid absences for the duration of the emergency so they don’t use up their annual allocation.
These emergency measures were first introduced during floods in NSW and South East Queensland earlier this year.
Federal Minister for Education Jason Clare last month changed the way these measures are triggered so that they occur automatically when there is a widespread emergency that may prevent children accessing care.
As a result of his changes, parents and ECEC services no longer have to wait for Ministerial sign off to waive gap fees.
“It’s common sense to make these measures automatic. The last thing people want to worry about at the moment are childcare payments. This support will help families in a practical way when they need it most,” Mr Clare said.
The increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters highlights the need to make these measures available on an ongoing basis, he continued, outlining his hope that the measures will provide fee relief for families and help keep children enrolled during this challenging period.
More information is available here.
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