Families set to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic

Dr David Gillespie MP, visiting Little Flippers Kindergarten: Tony Kee – Director, Mia Garland, Archer Katsamangos, Chloe McFarlane, Reid Bisset and Willow Mitchell.


AROUND one million families are set to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic under a plan from the Australian Government that will help deliver hip pocket relief and help the early childhood education and care sector make it through to the other side of this crisis.

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Under the plan, the Government will pay 50 per cent of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care. The funding will apply from 6 April based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into 2 March, whether or not they are attending services.

Federal Member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie said the plan supports families while also ensuring child care and early learning services can keep their doors open for workers and vulnerable families who need those services.

“The plan provides funding certainty to early childhood education and care services at a time where enrolments and attendance are highly unpredictable.”

“These services are vital for so many parents so they can provide for their family, and children need as much routine as we can help provide at this unsettling time.”

“Priority will be given to working parents, vulnerable and disadvantaged children that need early education more than ever and parents with pre-existing enrolments.”

“This plan complements more than $1 billion we expect the sector to receive through our new JobKeeper payment to help ensure many of the 200,000 vital early education workforce can stay connected to services.”

“It means building a bridge for these valuable services to the other side of this virus so they can continue to play their valuable role in our workforce and education systems and so Australia can bounce back strongly.”

Dr Gillespie said If you have terminated your enrolment since 17 February, then I encourage you to get back in contact with your centre and re-start your arrangements.

“Re-starting your enrolment will not require you to send your child to child care and it certainly won’t require you to pay a gap fee. Re-starting your enrolment will, however, hold your place for that point in time when things start to normalise, and you are ready to take your child back to their centre.”

“We will get through this crisis by supporting each other and ensuring that no Australian, even though we have to be isolated, should have to go through this alone,” Dr Gillespie concluded.

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