NSW floods: Local Area Emergency declared

We have declared a Local Area Emergency (LAE) for the period 23 February to 4 March 2022 following severe rainfall and flooding in New South Wales.

The LAE includes all child care services in the following Local Government Areas (LGAs):

Tweed Shire Council, Byron Shire Council, Ballina Shire Council, Kyogle Council, Richmond Valley Council, Lismore City Council, Clarence Valley Council, Coffs Harbour City Council, Bellingen Shire Council and Nambucca Valley Council.

A range of support is available to families and services during an LAE. We’re monitoring the situation and will provide updates as required.

If you have to close

Services that close during the LAE will continue to receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments. You must continue to charge gap fees.

You must let us know if you temporarily close your service. You can do this via the Provider Entry Point (PEP) or your third-party software. You also need to tell your state or territory regulatory authority.

Support for families

Families can get CCS when their child is absent from care for up to 52 days in the current financial year.

Families in the above LGAs can get additional absences during the LAE period if they have used their 52 absences. Conditions apply to access these additional absences. Learn about using additional absences on our website.

Affected families may be eligible for extra help 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 care during an emergency can visit StartingBlocks.gov.au.

Support for services

The Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances grant helps services stay open when something unexpected happens, such as a local emergency. Affected services can apply on our website.

Applicants should request funding after an event has occurred and they have accessed other disaster support.

Other support

Families and services may also be eligible for other government support.

The Australian Government provides payments and help for people affected by natural disasters. Find out if you’re eligible for support on the Services Australia website.

The New South Wales Government has support for individuals and businesses impacted by a natural disaster. Learn more on the New South Wales Government website.

Check these sites often as the information is updated regularly.

For action

  • 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.
  • Update your vacancy details on StartingBlocks.gov.au. Do this via the PEP 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 New South Wales Government website for current emergency information in your region.
  • Learn more about help for the early childhood sector during an emergency on our website.