COVID-19 in Victoria: lockdown extended, Local Area Emergency declared

We’ve declared a Local Area Emergency for all child care services in Victoria for the period Friday 16 July to Tuesday 27 July due to the seven-day extension of the state’s lockdown.

Absences

Families attending early childhood education and care services in Victoria will have access to additional absences during the LAE period if they have used their allowance of 42 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.

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. 

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

The Australian Government has announced an increase to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

More information will be made available on the Services Australia website.

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.

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.

For action

  • Update your vacancy details in the Child Care Finder. Do this via the Provider Entry Point 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 Provider Entry Point or your third-party software.
  • Ask families to maintain their enrolments. This will ensure their children receive continuity of care and early learning.

Keep an eye on the Victorian Government COVID-19 website.