As Melbourne heads back into the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 lockdown, the Morrison Government have acted swiftly to ensure Victorian families who utilise childcare facilities are being looked after, with fee relief imminent.
Is my childcare free again?
It’s a hard pill to swallow when thrust into lockdown, paying for a childcare place during these tricky pandemic times. Especially so if your child is unable to attend. Scott Morrison understands and has your back, waiving parent fees once more.
Yesterday’s media release reads:
“The Government will allow all services located in areas subject to Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions, including metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, to waive parent gap fees if children are not attending child care for COVID-related reasons from Monday 13 July.”
“This means that if a child is absent from care for COVID-related reasons, the child care service can waive their gap fee which means more money in the family’s pocket. It also provides certainty to families that they will retain their enrolment at the child care service.”
In a nutshell, the “gap fee” is the difference between the Government Child Care Subsidy (paid to the service provider) and the remaining fee owed by the family.
Childcare services to remain open
One thing is VERY clear … the Australian Government wants to reassure families that childcare services WILL remain open for workers and vulnerable families who need these critical services.
The Minister for Education media release also states:
“The Government will also ease the activity test until 4 October to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. These families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.”
Please note that families experiencing a loss of income, such as casual workers or those in self-isolation, might also be eligible for extra support through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship). We urge you to apply if this is you!
Our hearts are with you Victoria, hang in there! Stay tuned for more updates as they come to hand.