The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.


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The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) continues to monitor the situation in early learning (child care) centres and has not advised the closure of child care centres to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at this time.

On 3rd April the AHPPC produced a statement about COVID-19 in children and early childhood and learning centres stating that: 

Childcare services are considered essential services and are encouraged to continue to operate wherever possible at this time, but with risk mitigation measures in place.

Emerging epidemiologic reports on COVID-19 in children show that, while they are less likely than adults to be infected and have severe illness, they are still vulnerable to the pandemic coronavirus.The Committee’s advice is that pre‑emptive closures are not proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time.

There continues to be limited information on the contribution of children to transmission of COVID-19. The WHO-China Joint Mission also noted the primary role of household transmission and observed that children tended to be infected by adults in the household.  In China, 2.4% of total reported cases were under the age of 19 years. Worldwide, of those cases under 19 years of age, very few were severe or critical.

You can read the full statement here.   

This advice has not changed.  

Safe Work Australia (SWA) have produced specific guidance for the early learning sector about managing the risks of the Coronavirus to ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace.

Eary childcare services should be following these guidelines to the best of their abilities based on their individual circumstances.

Click here to return to our Coronavirus Homepage.

 

 

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On 30 March 2020 the Federal Government announced the introduction of the JobKeeper Payment package, which aims to provide businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak with access to a subsidy from the Government, so that they can continue paying their employees. This assistance aims to help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over. For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut.

An amount of $1,500 per eligible employee (before PAYG tax) can be claimed each fortnight from 30 March 2020 to at most 30 September 2020 (ie a maximum of 6 months).

PLEASE NOTE: The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has updated their website to include the JobKeeper Payment here
The ATO has also extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020. If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

A. Which employers are eligible?

  1. Any employer whose business has a turnover of less than $1 billion and their turnover will be reduced by more than 30% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); or

  2. Any employer whose business has a turnover of $1 billion or more and their turnover will be reduced by more than 50% relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month); and

  3. The business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy.

Guidance 1

Safe Work Australia (SWA) has produced specific guidance for the early learning sector about managing the risks of the Coronavirus to ensure the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. This includes specific advice for the sector on physical distancing measures available here

We highly recommend you read the guidance here and apply these measures. 

Additionally the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), chaired by the Australian Chief Medical Officer, provided the following advice for early childhood education services on 3 April 2020:

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If you have any staff, children or children's parents/guardians who have been instructed to self-isolate, it's important that they understand what this means.

The purpose of self-isolation is to protect the rest of the community from the potential spread of the Coronavirus, so it's not just a matter of staying away from the early learning centre - people who are self-isolating are also required to stay away from other public areas too, including the gym, the supermarket, etc.

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