ECEC Relief Package

The update below has been lifted directly from an email from the Department of Education, Skills & Employment (DESE) which was sent to approved providers on Thursday 30th April 2020:

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has confirmed a new ruling that clarifies eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment for most early childhood education and care (ECEC) services receiving the ECEC Relief Package. 

More child care providers to receive the JobKeeper Payment 

As part of the eligibility requirements for JobKeeper a decline in turnover test requires providers to demonstrate a fall in “GST turnover” even if an entity was not registered for GST. 

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Service providers that commenced operating on or after 6 April will not have a reference period to use when applying for the Early Childhood Education & Care Relief Package. Therefore these services will need to apply for the Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment.

The application process is via an online form, available on the DESE website here. (Scroll down and click on the word "Application".) 

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ACA has received some very important advice from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) in relation to employer eligibility for the JobKeeper Payment.

The ATO has recently made a ruling that relates to how early learning service providers account for Business Continuity Payments through the month of April.

ACA's senior contact at the ATO has provided the following advice:

Further to our meeting yesterday, I can confirm that we do not consider the Business Continuity Payment and Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payment made by the Department of Education, Skills & Employment (DESE) to a childcare provider (under the Early Childhood Education & Care Relief Package) consideration for a supply.


The world has VERY quickly changed for early learning service providers and early childhood educators, with every individual in the sector facing some unique challenges as they operate in this new and ever-changing climate.

It is vitally important that service providers and educators acknowledge their emotional responses to these changes and know how to practice self care while navigating through the "new normal". By looking after themselves first, educators will be in a better position to look after the children in their care and give them the support they may need during these challenging times.