COVID-19 in Victoria: support child care services in Ballarat can access

Child care services in Ballarat can access Australian Government support following the lockdown of the city because of a COVID-19 outbreak.

On 15 September, the Victorian Government announced Ballarat would enter a seven-day lockdown.

Details about the lockdown are on the Victorian Government COVID-19 response website.

Also on 15 September, the Australian Government declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 Hotspot for Ballarat.

During the lockdown, child care is open only to:

  • vulnerable children
  • children of single parents and carers who are working, and
  • children with one or more parents or carers who are authorised workers.

Business continuity payments

If you opted in to the business continuity payment by 9 September, you will receive payment for the fortnight 6 to 19 September.

You do not need to tell us if you are going into or coming out of lockdown. Please only tell us if your eligibility in meeting the other conditions of the payment changes. 

Where a service comes out of lockdown in the first week of the business continuity payment fortnightly payment period, they will still receive the full fortnightly payment.

Outside School Hours Care and vacation care

Outside School Hours Care (OSCH) services will continue to receive the business continuity payments where school attendance is restricted and where services continue to meet the conditions.

That means OSHC services can continue to receive business continuity payments until all primary school children are permitted to return to school in the affected area.

OSHC services that provide vacation care over the school holidays will receive 40% of their pre-lockdown revenue for this fortnight. The department will send business continuity payments offers within the next fortnight to services providing vacation care. 

We will provide more information next week and update the guidelines shortly.

There is no need to call the CCS Helpdesk. We will contact you about business continuity payments.

Gap fees

Services in areas under lockdown and in a Commonwealth declared COVID-19 hotspot can waive gap fees.

Services receiving the business continuity payments must waive gap fees for the full payment fortnight. This includes where services come out of lockdown in the first week of the business continuity payment fortnight payment period.

Absences

Families can get Child Care Subsidy when their child is absent from a session of care they would normally attend for up to 42 days per child, per financial year. They can also get additional absences in certain circumstances.

Additional allowable absences will be available if the hotspot declaration is extended to more than 7 days. Eligibility will be backdated to day one of the hotspot declaration.

Easing of restrictions in Shepparton

Changes to Australian Government support apply to early childhood services following the easing of lockdown restrictions in Shepparton from 16 September.

Details about changes to restrictions are on the Victorian Government COVID-19 response website.

From 16 September, the following applies: 

Business continuity payments

Eligible services will receive the business continuity payment for the fortnight 6 to 19 September, if they opted-in by 9 September. If circumstances remain the same, payments will end after this fortnight payment.

Learn about business continuity payments on our website.

Absences

Additional allowable absences will no longer be available from 15 September. Services must resume submitting absences as usual.

Learn about absences on our website

Gap fees

Services receiving the business continuity payments are required to waive gap fees for the full duration of the payment fortnight.

Other support

Go to our website for more information about:

  • support for services
  • support for families
  • if you have to close
  • action you can take.