COVID-19 support: additional allowable absences for child care services in hotspots

The Australian Government has announced child care services in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot can now access additional allowable absences if the declaration extends for more than seven days.

Families will not have to use their 42 allowable absences during the lockdown.

Additional allowable absences will be available until the end of the declaration.

This means families will still have allowable absence days to use after the lockdown. It also encourages families to keep children enrolled, and ensures providers continue to receive the Child Care Subsidy.

You can find out if you are in a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot on the Department of Health website.

We’ll also email providers and services if they are in a COVID-19 hotspot.

Providers should ensure their contact details are up to date in the Child Care Subsidy System so they don’t miss important information.

Update details via the Provider Entry Point (PEP) or through third-party software.

Greater Sydney hotspot

Services in the Greater Sydney COVID-19 hotspot, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Shellharbour and Wollongong, can now access additional allowable absences.

We’ll backdate the additional allowable absences for services in the Greater Sydney hotspot to the start of the lockdown.

Services in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) will have additional allowable absences applied from 23 June 2021:

  • Bayside
  • City of Sydney
  • Canada Bay
  • Inner West
  • Randwick
  • Waverley; and
  • Woollahra.

Services in the following LGAs will have additional allowable absences applied from 26 June 2021:

  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Central Coast
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • George’s River
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hornsby
  • Hunter’s Hill
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Ryde
  • Shellharbour
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland
  • Hills Shire
  • Wollondilly
  • Willoughby; and
  • Wollongong.

Additional allowable absences are available until the end of the hotspot declaration, which is due to end on 28 August 2021.

South East Queensland hotspot

Services in South East Queensland under lockdown will have additional allowable absences applied from 31 July until the end of the lockdown.

We’ll backdate the additional allowable absences for these services to the start of the lockdown.

Services in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs) will have additional allowable absences applied from 31 July 2021:

  • Brisbane
  • Moreton Bay
  • Redland
  • Logan
  • Ipswich
  • Noosa
  • Gold Coast
  • Lockyer Valley
  • Scenic Rim
  • Somerset; and
  • Sunshine Coast.

Read the Minister’s media release.