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CCS News

$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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CCS News

Changes to absences under the Child Care Subsidy

What is an absence day?
Under the Child Care Subsidy, families are allowed 42 absence days per child, per financial year. These 42 allowable absences can be taken for any reason, including public holidays and when children are sick, without the need for families to provide documentation.

Changes to absences
From 13 July 2020, families can receive CCS for absences up to seven days before a child’s first, and after a child’s last, physical attendance at a service, where a session of care would have usually been provided, for any of the following reasons:

  • any of the additional absence reasons
  • the child, the individual who cares for the child, the individual’s partner or another person with whom the child lives is ill (no medical certificate required if the child has not used 42 absence days)
  • the service has changed ownership
  • the usual service is closed and the child is attending a different service under the same provider
  • a family tragedy (a major event including the death of an immediate family member) has occurred, or
  • the enrolment ceased incorrectly.

This amendment was made in response to feedback from the sector and has been timed to coincide with the start of the 2020-21 CCS year.

Families can continue to claim additional absences for COVID-19 related reasons without the need for medical evidence until 31 December 2020.

For more information check out the updated absences fact sheet and FAQs from Department of Education, Skills and Employment.