NSW floods: Local Area Emergency declared

A Local Area Emergency (LAE) has been declared for the period of 22 March 2021 to 4 April 2021 for all child care services located in 34 local government areas in New South Wales.

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment announced the LAE for these local government areas:

Armidale, Bellingen, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Cumberland, Dungog Shire, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Kempsey, Ku-ring-gai, Lake Macquarie, Liverpool, Maitland, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Sutherland, Tenterfield, The Hills, and Wollondilly.

In these areas, services may be required to close by local authorities, or families cannot travel.

Families attending services in these areas will have access to additional absences during the LAE period if they have used their allowance of 42 absences.

Learn more about absences during times of emergency  

The Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity helps services stay open when something unexpected happens, such as a local emergency. 

Learn more about this grant and how to apply

If services close

If you close your service, you must report the closure within 24 hours to:

Support for providers and services

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 the floods 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.

A range of payments and services is available for individuals recovering from a major disaster. More information on emergency payments is available on the Services Australia website.

Additionally, the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is available to eligible Australians adversely affected by the storms and floods. Visit the Disaster Assist website for details.

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