April 3, 2020

Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan said the Coalition Government’s child care package would give families in Wannon hip pocket relief, while protecting child care jobs and ensuring the viability of local services.

Under the plan, the Federal Government will pay services that remain open and do not charge families for care. Services will receive payments based on 50 per cent of their average fees, up to a maximum of the hourly rate cap, based on enrolments in the fortnight before 2 March.

Mr Tehan said the payment, combined with the $130 billion JobKeeper payment to keep employees in their jobs, would help ensure child care services in Wannon kept their doors open and workers employed.

The Government will also:
• Allow childhood education and care services to waive out-of-pocket fees for families where the centre is open, but children aren’t attending because of COVID-19.
• Provide $453.2 million for preschools in 2021 to support almost 350,000 children to attend preschool.

“Child care services will have to remain open and not charge families fees if they accept the Government’s payment. This will provide much-needed fee relief for families in Wannon, and ensure children can continue attending services and their parents can continue working,” Mr Tehan said.

“The current expert medical advice is that the child care sector should remain open except where individual services have been directed to close by health authorities.

“Child care services in Wannon can access the payment to ensure the viability of their business, keep people in jobs and give families much-needed fee relief.

“Child care is so important right now as our nation confronts the twin challenge of the coronavirus and its economic impact. The child care services in Wannon are a valuable part of our community, where our children come together to learn and play, giving time to families to work, study and volunteer.

“This package will help support families during these difficult times, particularly those who have lost their job and are doing it tough.

“The states and territories are looking at how to reduce the regulatory burden on the child care services which will further help them to remain viable. Education Council and National Cabinet will address regulation this week.”

The new system is expected to begin on 6 April, with payments to start flowing at the end of the week. The system will be reviewed after one month, with an extension to be considered after three months. The payments will be paid in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.

Child care services seeking health and situation information about COVID-19 should contact the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Information is also available from https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19.

Media contact | Cate Mercer-Grant 0408 564 232