COVID-19 in Victoria: extra support for child care services in hotspots

This content was published on Wednesday 18 August 2021. There may be more recent updates available.

Child care services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspots of longer than seven days can access additional Australian Government support.

On 16 August, the Victorian Government announced that lockdown in metropolitan Melbourne would be extended.

Details can be found on the Victorian Government COVID-19 response website.

Additionally, on 16 August the Australian Government extended the current Commonwealth Hotspot for Greater Melbourne, City of Greater Geelong, and the shires of Moorabool and Golden Plains. 

Child care services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 Hotspots can waive gap fees for families who keep their children at home if the Commonwealth Hotspot runs for more than seven days.

They can also access additional allowable absences.

Gap fee waivers

Child care services in Greater Melbourne, City of Greater Geelong, Moorabool and Golden Plains can waive gap fees for families who keep their children at home during the current lockdown.

Providers can waive fees from 13 August 2021. This applies to all service types.

In addition, services directed to close by a local authority because of COVID-19 can waive gap fees until 31 December 2021.

Absences

Services in metropolitan Melbourne can access additional allowable absences from 6 August 2021.

These absences are available until the end of the Commonwealth hotspot declaration. 

Families can use these absences even if they have not used up their 42 days of allowable absences.

You do not need to do anything to access these absences. 

The Child Care Subsidy System will automatically assess any absences claimed during the hotspot declaration period as emergency additional absences and backdate those absences as required.

Learn about absences in a Commonwealth-declared hotspot on our website.

Stay up to date

We continue to update the sector on restrictions, Australian Government support and the impact on child care services. Please check in regularly to our Early Childhood COVID-19 home page.

Support for services

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment provides financial support for workers who have lost hours as a result of a state public health order.

Providers and services in Victoria may be eligible for a range of COVID-19 support funding. For information on whole-of-Australian Government support for businesses affected by COVID-19, visit business.gov.au.

Some services may be eligible for a Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances Grant. Applicants must request funding after an event has occurred and they have accessed other COVID support.

Support for families

The Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship) is available to support families experiencing temporary financial hardship.

Families looking for alternative child care options during an emergency can visit Starting Blocks or Child Care Finder.

If you have to close

You must tell us if you are temporarily closing your service for any reason and for any period. To do this, use the Provider Entry Point (PEP) or your third-party software.

These notifications are additional to those you must give your state or territory regulatory authority.

For action

Update your vacancy details in the Child Care Finder. Do this via the PEP or your third-party software.

  • Update your contact details, particularly email addresses, in the Child Care Subsidy System so you don’t miss important information. Do this via the PEP or your third-party software.
  • Ask families to maintain their enrolments. This will ensure children receive continuity of care and early learning.
  • Keep an eye on the Victorian Government COVID-19 response website for local updates.