Release type: Joint Media Release

Date:

Special Circumstances funding boost to help child care services through flood recovery, pandemic

Ministers:

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business
Acting Minister for Education and Youth
Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie
Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education
Minister for Emergency Management and National Recovery and Resilience

The Morrison Government is significantly increasing Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances funding to assist child care services recover from the recent catastrophic floods and the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding available through the CCCF Special Circumstances grant program will be increased from $4 million per year to up to $22.4 million this financial year and $7.7 million in 2022-23.

Acting Minister for Education and Youth Stuart Robert said the funding boost over two financial years would help ensure a strong recovery for early childhood education and care services affected by the recent floods and the ongoing effects of COVID-19.

‘Special Circumstances grants are available to help services recover from unexpected events such as the flooding that impacted communities all the way from south-east Queensland, Lismore and the New South Wales north coast down to Sydney and into parts of the New South Wales south coast,’ Minister Robert said.

‘These grants can be used to help with the cost of repairing flood damage, temporary service relocation or staff salaries during periods of service closure and local emergency.

‘Access to child care services will be important to support families and communities as they work to repair the extensive damage caused by these floods.’

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator Bridget McKenzie, said the Morrison Government’s extension of Special Circumstances funding reflected the severity and ongoing impact of the flood and pandemic.

‘The Government’s recent commitment of a business continuity payment of $10,000 per child care service closed more than seven days will ease the financial pain for child care services suddenly hit by flood-recovery costs – and, importantly, ensure they can continue to provide child care for their local communities,’ Minister McKenzie said.

To date, 130 services have applied for the $10,000 business continuity payment, which are due to be delivered to child care services over the next week. 

‘This $10,000 payment will provide affected services with immediate relief.

‘However, Special Circumstances funding is available to those services which sustained significant damage that puts their viability at risk.

‘Special Circumstances funding is particularly important to support the re-opening of child care in flood-affected small outer-metropolitan and regional communities where there are already fewer child care options for families.’

Applications can be made for CCCF Special Circumstances funding where a service is at risk of closing due to viability concerns, with funding determined on a case-by-case basis.

In January 2022, the Morrison Government expanded the eligibility for CCCF Special Circumstances funding in response to the Omicron wave. Applications relating to support due to pandemic-related impacts can be made for up to $150,000, and on a needs basis in the case of applications that are flood-related.

More information is available from: www.dese.gov.au/community-child-care-fund/special-circumstances

ENDS