COVID-19 in NSW: Local Area Emergency extended

We have extended the Local Area Emergency (LAE) for Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour, for the period 26 June to 27 August, inclusive, due to the extension of the state’s lockdown.

We have extended the LAE for services in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):

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

Education and care services are considered an essential service and may remain open unless directed to close by NSW Health.

The NSW Government’s COVID-19 guide for ECEC services webpage provides important information for providers and services. This includes advice that families in eight LGAs are encouraged to keep their children home.

Providers and services should remain aware of advice as it is updated. 

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

Gap fee waivers

From Monday 19 July, services in LGAs in Greater Sydney subject to stay-at-home orders can waive gap fees for parents on days they choose to keep their children at home.

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

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Information about the COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available on the Services Australia website.

Absences

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.

Families whose service is in a declared LAE can access additional absences if they have used their 42 allowable absences. Learn more about absences during an LAE.

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.

Support for services

Providers and services in NSW 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.

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.

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 NSW Government’s COVID-19 response website for local information.