The Morrison Government has acted quickly to provide certainty to Victorian families using child care who will be impacted by the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 lockdown announced today.
The Government will allow all services located in areas subject to Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions, including metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, to waive parent gap fees if children are not attending child care for COVID-related reasons from Monday 13 July.
The gap fee is the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the Government pays to a service and the remaining fee owed by the family.
This means that if a child is absent from care for COVID-related reasons, the child care service can waive their gap fee which means more money in the family’s pocket. It also provides certainty to families that they will retain their enrolment at the child care service.
Waiving the parents’ gap fees will also ensure child care services maintain their enrolments and continue to be paid the CCS, even if a child is absent for a COVID-related reason.
Our Government wants to ensure that child care services remain open for workers and vulnerable families who need those services.
From Monday, services can access the $708 million Transition Payment to support the return to the CCS.
The Government will also ease the activity test until 4 October to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. These families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.
Families experiencing a loss of income, such as casual workers or those in self-isolation, may be eligible for support through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship).
The Federal Government continues to work closely with the Victorian state Department of Education in relation to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.