$234 million to keep critical child care open during COVID lockdowns

The Morrison Government has now paid out around $234 million to support more than 6,250 child care services across locked down areas of New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.
Fortnightly payments of 25 per cent of pre-lockdown revenue are available to child care services impacted by lockdowns. Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services are eligible for payments of 40 per cent.
These payments will continue until those jurisdictions allow all children to return to child care and for OSHC, all school levels return to face-to-face learning.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the payments were keeping services open and ready to welcome back children once lockdowns lift.
“Thanks to these payments, services have stayed open, staff have been kept in work and families have had much needed fee relief during these lengthy lockdowns, Minister Tudge said.
“It is a condition of the payments that services pass on gap fee waivers to families, meaning our child care subsidies continue to flow to services, without parents paying for days their children can’t go to care.
“Now that our vaccination rates are soaring and lockdowns are ending, families can get back to work knowing their local child care centre or after school care is still open.
“Given each jurisdiction is easing restrictions at different rates, we will keep payments flowing until kids are allowed back to child care and back in classrooms.
“I want to take the opportunity to thank all the hard-working educators and staff who have remained on deck throughout the pandemic to care for the children of essential workers.”
The payments are in addition to existing supports, such as additional allowable absences from care and gap fee waivers which allow Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy to continue even when children are not attending.
Payments have been made to 3,405 services in NSW ($120 million), 2,586 in Victoria ($99 million) and 266 in the ACT ($15 million).
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, over $3 billion has been invested in the child care sector to support families.

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