Queensland and NSW floods: emergency support expanded

Services and families in flood-affected regions can now access more allowable absences and gap fee waivers. We've also extended the emergency support to flood-affected regions in Sydney.

This extra support will apply for the duration of Local Area Emergencies (LAE) declared between 23 February and 30 June 2022.

Western Sydney

We've declared a new LAE in parts of Western Sydney. The LAE applies from 2 March to 9 March 2022 for all services in the following Local Government Areas (LGA):

Central Coast Council, Hawkesbury City Council, The Hills Shire Council, Penrith City Council, Blacktown City Council, Fairfield City Council, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool City Council, Camden Council, Sutherland Shire Council.

South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales

We’ve extended the existing LAE in parts of South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. The LAE now applies from 23 February to 9 March 2022 for all services in the following LGAs:

Queensland

Brisbane City Council, Ipswich City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Somerset Regional Council, Gold Coast City Council, Logan City Council, Redland City Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council, Sunshine Coast Regional Council, Noosa Shire Council, Gympie Regional Council, Lockyer Valley Regional Council, Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council, North Burnett Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council, South Burnett Regional Council.

New South Wales

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, Nambucca Valley Council.

We’re monitoring the situation and will extend the LAEs if required.

Support available

The following support is now available to services and families in LAE-declared regions.

Absences

Children who live, or attend a service, in an LAE-declared region will get extra allowable absences for the duration of the LAE. They will be automatically applied in the Child Care Subsidy System shortly.

This means families won’t have to use any of their 52 allowable absences during the LAE period.

Gap fees

Services in an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child does not attend, or the service is closed.

Services outside an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child that lives within an LAE-declared region does not attend care.

In the above scenarios, services can waive gap fees for the entire duration of the LAE period.

Services that close during the LAE will continue to receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments.

Financial 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.

Financial support for families

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.

Other support

A reminder that services and families may also be eligible for a range of Commonwealth and state government support. The following pages provide more information:

Check these sites often as the information is updated regularly.

For action

  • 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.
  • 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 your state government website for current emergency information in your region:
  • Learn more about help for the early childhood sector during an emergency on our website.