The Morrison Government has today passed legislation that builds on the unprecedented support for child care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Early Childhood Education and Care Coronavirus Response and Other Measures) Bill 2021 ensures similar support could be provided during future large-scale disasters or emergencies.
“We injected nearly $3 billion at the height of the pandemic last year to ensure child care remained available for essential workers and families with vulnerable children,” Minister Tudge said.
“Our Child Care Recovery Package kept 99 per cent of child care services open and in November last year 93 per cent of families said they could access all the child care they needed.
“This legislation will give us the flexibility to respond with similar support during future crises.
“We are investing a record $10.3 billion in child care this year, including $9 billion to subsidise fees for parents.
“Thanks to our support, centre-based child care usage has rebounded and was up 13 per cent in December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.”
The Bill that passed today will allow payments to be made, on a discretionary basis, to child care services if they are adversely affected by future large-scale emergencies.
The legislation also supports the nine month extension the Government provided to families during the COVID-19 pandemic to meet their income reporting obligations while still being able to access child care.