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$10,000 ECEC Flood Support Payment for Services in Flood-affected Regions

The Australian Government has announced a $10,000 ECEC Flood Support Payment for services in flood-affected regions that close for more than 7 days.

The Government is providing extra support during LAEs between 23 February and 30 June 2022. Services and families in LAE-declared regions can access the support measures below.

Support payments

ECEC Flood Support Payments of $10,000 are available to services in flood-affected regions that close for more than 7 days due to flooding. If your service is located in an eligible region, you will receive an offer before 18 March. Services must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the payment:

  • be located in an LAE-declared region after 23 February
  • close for more than 7 days due to flooding – this could be due to physical damage to buildings, staff shortages or school closures
  • waive the gap fee for families for the duration of the flood-related closure
  • agree to provide priority access to families impacted by flooding, for example if a family relocates temporarily but wishes to resume their enrolment in the future.

Services that need further support can apply for a Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances grant. Applicants should apply for a CCCF grant after an event has occurred and they have accessed other disaster support.

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 (CCS) System shortly.

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

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.

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

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 NSW and Queensland Governments have support for individuals and businesses impacted by a natural disaster. Find out if you’re eligible for support on your state government website:

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ACCS

ACCS (child wellbeing) certificates Q&A for child care providers

Do I need to issue a new certificate for Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) each 12-month period?

Yes. Once a child has received Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) (child wellbeing) for continuous periods over 12 months, you need to issue a new certificate.

The Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) will not allow you to apply for a further determination if the child has received ACCS (child wellbeing) for continuous periods over 12 months and a new certificate is not issued. If the child remains ‘at risk’ after six weeks on the certificate, you will then need to apply for further 13-week period determinations.

For example:

Billy attends Pink Unicorn Child Care Service and a certificate was issued for six weeks on 8 July 2019 because he was assessed as being ‘at risk’. Billy has remained on 13-week determinations continuously since then (inclusive of the Relief Package period). On 18 May 2020, Services Australia made a determination for another 13 weeks for Billy which ceases on 16 August 2020. If Billy is still considered to be ‘at risk’, the service will need to issue a new six-week certificate, from 17 August 2020, before another determination can be given.

Does a child need to use the full six weeks of a certificate before I can apply for a determination?

Yes. When you apply for a determination, the system will check to see if the child has been on a certificate for six weeks in the previous 12 months.

If the child has not been on a certificate for six weeks in the last 12 months, you will need to issue a certificate for the remaining balance of the six weeks before you can apply for a determination.

For example:

Orange Monkey Child Care Centre issued Janie a certificate for three weeks because she was assessed ‘at risk’ when she started at the service on 8 July 2019. Janie continued to be assessed as ‘at risk’ so the service applied for a determination from Services Australia for 13 weeks commencing 29 July 2019. The system checked to see if Janie had been on a certificate for six weeks in the previous 12 months. In this case, only three weeks of the certificate was used. The service must issue a certificate for the remaining balance of the six weeks before they can apply for a determination.