Parents Will Not Be Charged Fees If Childcare Shuts Down Due To Coronavirus

By March 18, 2020
Parents Will Not Be Charged Fees If Childcare Shuts Down Due To Coronavirus Image by pasita wanseng from Pixabay

If childcare centres shut down due to the coronavirus, parents will not have to pay childcare fees. Centres will not claim Child Care Subsidy and since child care isn't able to be offered to families, they must not be charged fees.

Child Care Subsidy is only paid when children attend childcare but Education Minister Mr Tehan said individual families in self-isolation could use their entitlement of 42 days of absence without losing the subsidy.

He said families experiencing a loss of income could be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship).

Centres usually charge families during times they are closed, such as public holidays, so not charging families overrides individual childcare agreement.

In the event of closures., Education Minister Dan Tehan said childcare providers could access grants through the $14 million Community Child Care Special Circumstances Fund to help cover costs, including wages.

Chief executive Sam Page from Early Childhood Australia, said "$14 million was well short. A mid-size service would normally receive $7000-8000 a day in Child Care Subsidy plus fees from parents and there were nearly 16,000 centres across Australia".

Ms Page said the early childhood services were "truly worried" about the coronavirus pandemic causing services to close or the government ordering a widespread shutdown.

"There's a really high level of anxiety out there among service providers, they're all sort of calculating how long they could survive if they had to shut down and it's not very long at all," Ms Page said.

An infection control expert at the University of NSW, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, said the next stage of fighting coronavirus mitigation, which means the government has the ability to close childcare centres, schools and businesses and lockdown residential aged care facilities.

Reference:
"Childcare Centres Must Not Charge Parents Fees If Shutdown Due To Coronavirus", Aussie CHildcare Network, 14 March 2020