I would like to thank you for your continued support of our services and educators. We will continue to operate as per normal operations, unless we receive a direct order from the Federal Government, or a confirmed case within our service environment.
The Federal Government continues to view early education and care as an essential service, which in turn supports you as our valued families, by giving you the ability to work and earn an income or by providing consistency and normality for families during these very unsteady times.
The Federal Government has announced the following:
- The number of days that a family can continue to claim the Child Care Subsidy in cases where a child is absent from childcare has been increased by 20 days, bringing allowable absence to 62 for the 2019/2020 financial year.
- Families can have access to additional absences without the need for a medical certificate as evidence in relation to COVID-19. This will be in place until 31 December 2020.
- The current obligations of childcare services to require a family to pay gap fees, if the service is forced to close, has been waived.
We understand the uncertainty families are feeling and we wish to reassure everyone that our services are a controlled environment with stringent health and hygiene practices in place. We are a service for children and families, and in stressful times, maintaining routine and consistency for children is a very positive
We would love your child to continue to attend if they continue to be healthy and without symptoms. Where a child is unwell, a mandatory 48 hours absence will now be enforced to ensure the child is truly well enough to return to the service.
As our services continue to open, we must continue our obligations under the Family Assistance Law, which is to charge fees to families and submit attendance sessions to the Federal Government so that the Child Care Subsidy can be paid to the service and then applied to your account. If you choose to not attend as you
have chosen to self-isolate, fees will still be charged however the number of absences allowed has been increased, as per the information above, to support the absence to occur. Please speak to your Centre Director about possible options if you are choosing to keep your child at home.
If you are impacted by financial hardship, please consider contacting Centrelink to apply for 13 weeks fee relief – please talk to your Centre Director for more information.
There is currently no change to the current cessation of care obligations by the Federal Government, being that CCS is only paid up until your child’s last physical day of attendance, not when their booking has ended. We understand that peak bodies within the sector are rallying the Government to change this ruling and once we have more information, I will be sure to pass this on.
This virus is a sensitive and complex subject for young children to comprehend. Early Childhood Australia provides wonderful advice and resources for our sector. The below link is a great article to guide you through conversations with children around what is taking place, which is developmentally appropriate for young
I again would like to thank you, our valued parents and families for your continued support of our educators who remain steadfast and calm in providing wonderful care for children.
We will continue to update you as more information becomes available. Please reach out if you need anything or have any questions.