COVID-19 in NSW: Local Area Emergency extended

On 7 July, the NSW Government extended the stay at home direction for Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour) to 11.59 pm on Friday 16 July. 

Details can be found on the NSW Government’s COVID-19 response website. 

In line with this extension, we have extended the Local Area Emergency (LAE) period for services in affected Local Government Areas (LGAs). The LAE period now runs from 26 June to 16 July for services located in the following LGAs:

City of Sydney, Municipality of Woollahra, City of Randwick, Municipality of Waverley, Bayside Council, Blacktown City Council, Blue Mountains City Council, Municipality of Burwood, Camden Council, Central Coast Council, City of Campbelltown, City of Canada Bay, City of Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland City Council, City of Fairfield, George’s River Council, City of Hawkesbury, Hornsby Shire, Municipality of Hunter’s Hill, Inner West Council, Ku-ring-gai Council, Lane Cove Council, City of Liverpool, Mosman Council, North Sydney Council, Northern Beaches Council, City of Parramatta, City of Penrith, City of Ryde, Shellharbour City Council, Municipality of Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, The Hills Shire, Wollondilly Shire, City of Willoughby, and Wollongong City Council. 

Early childhood education and care services, including vacation care and Outside School Hours Care, can continue to operate in Greater Sydney and across NSW. Under the stay at home rules, accessing child care is considered a reasonable excuse to leave home.  Details are available on the NSW Department of Education website.

We are monitoring the situation and will work closely with the New South Wales Government and peak organisations from the sector as the situation evolves.


Allowable absences reset on 1 July 2021 for the new financial year. This means that from this date, all children had 42 absence days available to them.

Learn more about absences during an emergency.

Gap fee waiver

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

If you have to close

You must also 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 rather than emailing the information to the department.

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

Help in an emergency

Some services may be eligible for a Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances Grant

For more information about help available before, during and after an emergency visit our help in an emergency page.

Support for families

Families affected by COVID-19 may be eligible to receive additional support with the cost of child care through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship). Families must apply directly to Centrelink.

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