Early Childhood Education and Care Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

As at 26 May 2020

The Australian Government has responded to the Four Week Review of the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. For more information see the Minister’s media release.

The health and safety of all Australians, including the 1.3 million children using early childhood education and care services and the 200,000 staff working in the sector, is of utmost importance.

This page contains information for early childhood education and care providers and services.

Information for families about how Child Care Subsidy is being affected is available on the Services Australia website. Information about finding care during COVID-19 is available in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

On 2 April 2020, the Australian Government announced the new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. From Monday 6 April 2020, weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs.

Payments will be made until the end of the 2019–20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for early childhood education and care providers and services from 6 April 2020

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package Conditions

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package–Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package–Information for Family Day Care and In Home Care Providers

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for early childhood education and care providers and services–up to and including 5 April 2020

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package–Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment

Providers and services may apply to receive a supplement or ‘top up’ of Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payment in exceptional circumstances. Providers and services should select the application form that reflects their reason for applying for additional support as per text boxes below.

Services seeking an Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment that have 30 per cent or more of employees who are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment can complete this application and outline their circumstances. Services must complete this spreadsheet and attach it to their application. Applications without an attached spreadsheet will not be assessed.

Providers seeking an Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment for any other reason should complete this application and outline their circumstances.

In Home Care (IHC) providers, or large providers (those with 50 or more services), should email ECECreliefpackage@dese.gov.au to request a service-level spreadsheet to complete. This streamlined process is available to IHC and large providers even if not all services are eligible for Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payments.

This video provides all the information you need to know to complete your application for an Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payment under the COVID-19 Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

Four Week Review of the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package and the Government's response

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment conducted a Four Week Review of the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. The aim of the review was to assess whether the Relief Package was meeting its objectives.

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package Four Week Review

In response to the review, the Australian Government will provide further financial support to child care services that have 30 per cent or more of staff who are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. There is also more financial security for In Home Care providers. For more information, please see Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package–Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment.

Frequently asked questions

You can also find more information in our Frequently Asked Questions.

Resources

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a COVID-19 related poster which may be downloaded and displayed by early childhood education and care providers and services. The poster provides information and tips for families and staff to help minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)–Help stop the spread–resource for early childhood education and care providers and services 

Information sessions

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is holding regular COVID-19 information sessions for early childhood education and care providers and services.

The most recent session was 6 May 2020.

Stay in touch

Make sure your contact details (particularly email addresses) are up to date in the Child Care Subsidy System so you don’t miss out on important information. You can do this via the Provider Entry Point or through your third party software.

Please also make sure that you have subscribed to receive communications from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

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