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216,000 Aussie parents offered additional COVID-19 relief

·2-min read
Australian currency and Prime Minister Scott Morrison annoucing additional support measures
Prime Minister Scott Morrison annouced NSW parents will get some reprieve with childcare services allowed to waive gap-fees for parents stuck in lockdown (Source: Getty)

The Morrison Government has announced additional support for parents in NSW by allowing childcare services to waive gap-fees for parents keeping their children at home due to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Under current NSW restrictions child care services can remain open to provide care for those who need it, but the Government has acknowledged many parents choose to keep their children home.

From Monday 19 July, childcare centres in NSW local government areas (LGAs) subject to stay at home orders can waive gap-fees on the days parents choose to keep their kids at home.

The gap fee is the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the Government pays to a service and the remaining fee paid by the family.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said around 216,000 families across Greater Sydney that access childcare services are set to benefit.

“When gap-fees are waived families will not have to pay any out-of-pocket costs for those days that their children are at home during the current stay at home period,” Morrison said.

“This is another measure that will make life easier for many families in Greater Sydney during these challenging times.”

Morrison said the move adds to the additional financial support announced with the NSW government earlier this week.

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said many in the sector had been asking for this change and were expected to offer the gap-fee waiver.

“This opt-in measure ensures children remain enrolled in care and the Commonwealth childcare subsidy continues to flow to the centre, providing a valuable, stable and certain source of revenue during this time,” Tudge said.

“Previous lockdowns show that even when child care remains open, there is an understandably strong preference to keep kids at home.”

Tudge said the move is designed to ease some of the pressure on families and encourage them to keep their children enrolled in childcare services.

“Importantly, this means providers can keep their staff employed so business can continue as usual when the stay at home orders end,” he said.

“Today’s decision will also support the Outside School Hours Care sector, which is under particular pressure while school students are learning from home.”

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