QLD families upset after being charged for storm based closures
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Families upset as ECEC services charge while services are closed from QLD storms

Families upset as ECEC services charge while services are closed from QLD storms

by Freya Lucas

January 10, 2024

Families of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services affected by the recent adverse weather conditions in Queensland have spoken out, sharing their disappointment at being charged for days when their child/ren were unable to attend care due to the service being closed. 


Region wide storms hit South East Queensland on Christmas night, pushing thousands into several days without power, with several days of heavy rain and flash-flooding further exacerbating the damage.


While the Australian Government Department of Education has declared a Childcare Subsidy (CCS) Period of Emergency in three separate Queensland councils (Gold Coast City Council, Logan City Council and Scenic Rim Regional Council,) which allows services to waive the CCS gap fee for families affected, it is a business decision as to whether or not to pass this option on to families. 


The Period of Emergency allows a service to continue to receive CCS if they close as a direct result of the emergency, and can waive the gap fee if a child doesn’t attend, or if the service is closed during the emergency. It also means families will get unlimited allowable absences for the duration of the period of emergency. 


With some services electing not to pass this on, families have been left questioning the fairness of the decision. 


“It was a low blow considering we were still dealing with the effects of the storm ourselves, having to throw out hundreds of dollars worth of food from the fridge and then being hit with daycare fees when we couldn’t even send the kids,” one mother shared with online publication Kidspot.


“The Australian Government encourages providers to consider the impact of their charging practices on families under these circumstances. Where a gap fee is waived, the provider still receives Child Care Subsidy for children who are normally in care, but the family does not have to pay the gap fee,” a departmental spokesperson shared. 


“Child Care Subsidy Period of emergency arrangements help services to remain viable when children are prevented from attending care or it is hazardous to do so.”


To access the original coverage of this story please see here. More information about Childcare Subsidy (CCS) Period of Emergency payments is available here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button