The Albanese Government will make life easier for working parents and ease the cost of living by extending child care support measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measures were due to expire on 30 June.
The Minister for Education Jason Clare has extended them for another year to help families keep their kids enrolled in early learning and care.
The measures include:
- giving each child in childcare 52 days a year absence without missing out on their childcare subsidy – 10 more than is normally available
- using government notice of a positive COVID-19 test as a form of evidence for the extra paid absences
- allowing services to receive the subsidy and waive the gap fee until 30 June 2023:
- when closed or partially closed due to staff falling ill
- if a child is absent because they or an immediate household family member has COVID-19
- for children not attending care because they are at higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19
Keeping children enrolled in early learning and care during the pandemic has been important for our kids, important for our childcare centres and important for our economy.
Right now, around 19 services temporarily close each day due to COVID-19 infections and influenza. That makes it hard for childcare providers and parents to plan with any certainty.
That’s why the Government will continue to provide targeted support while COVID-19 infection rates remain high, and while children under five are unable to be vaccinated.
Extending these provisions beyond 30 June is a simple and sensible measure which will give parents and providers greater certainty while COVID-19, cost-of-living pressures and workforces shortages continue to challenge the sector.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO MINISTER FOR EDUCATION, JASON CLARE:
"This is just common sense. Keeping kids enrolled in childcare is good for them, good for families and good for the economy.”
QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, DR ANNE ALY:
"Early childhood education is an investment in our children, our youth, and our future. And I’m proud to be part of a Government that understands the value of early childhood education and prioritises it."