Families will find it easier to locate available early childhood services in their area during the COVID-19 pandemic with the help of a new toll-free helpline that launches today.
Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government established the helpline to provide extra support to families in need of child care. The helpline number is 1800 291 041.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our Government introduced a new child care system to ensure continuity of education and care for Australian families, particularly the children of essential workers and vulnerable children,” Mr Tehan said.
“If you have a job you’re an essential worker, and our Government doesn’t want parents or carers having to decide between putting food on the table or caring for their children.
“This helpline will provide families with advice on services available in their local area, including centre-based day care, family day care, outside school hours care and vacation care.
“The expert medical advice of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is that child care services should remain open, with additional cleaning and hygiene measures in place.”
The helpline is run by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), and is available from 9am to 5pm (AEST), Monday to Friday. It builds on online services like ChildCareFinder and StartingBlocks, which families already use to search for available child care or early education places.