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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Extended COVID-19 supports for the early learning sector

The Australian Government has today announced an extension to some of the support measures which  were due to expire on 30 June.

The support measure was introduced back in July 2021, at the height of the pandemic when ACA advocated for temporary changes to allow the early learning sector to survive through unprecedented conditions under lockdowns and isolation requirements for positive COVID-19 cases.

Among other policy items, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has been advocating for an extension to these measures with Minister for Early Childhood Education Anne Aly.

We are pleased to report that the Department for Education, Skills & Employment (DESE) has extended them for another year to help families keep their children enrolled in their early learning services.

The measures include:

  • giving each child in childcare 52 days a year absence without missing out on their childcare subsidy – 10 more than is normally available
  • using government notice of a positive COVID-19 test as a form of evidence for the extra paid absences
  • allowing services to receive the subsidy and waive the gap fee until 30 June 2023:
    • when closed or partially closed due to staff falling ill
    • if a child is absent because they or an immediate household family member has COVID-19
    • for children not attending care because they are at higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19

We commend the Federal Government for extending this support in recognition of the importance of affordable, high-quality early learning for all families working under varying conditions.

ACA will also continue to advocate for greater support in addressing the critical workforce issues and will keep you posted on our conversations in this space.