The COVID-19 outbreak has been unsettling for everyone and the stress of additional childcare weighs upon some parents. There are additional support mechanisms to support families affected by COVID-19 with the cost of childcare.
Access to Australian Government Subsidies
Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) are a family’s entitlement, based on their individual circumstances, used for subsidising the cost of childcare to help them undertake work-related activities. Importantly, the general application of CCS and ACCS is that it can only be paid where services are open and providing care, with the exception of public holidays or when a period of local emergency has been declared.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (Temporary Financial Hardship)
- ACCS is available to provide short-term support to families experiencing a significantly reduced inability to pay childcare fees, such as loss of income or business failure of an individual, or the partner of the individual, due to circumstances outside of their, or their partner’s control (such as serious illness).
To check if your family is eligible to receive the ACCS (temporary financial hardship), please visit https://docs.education.gov.au/node/50766.
Families can apply for the Government subsidies by accessing their Centrelink online account through myGov or by visiting a Centrelink office and applying in person.
Absences from Child Care
Where services are open, reporting of absences for families whose children cannot attend childcare due to COVID-19 is supported by the arrangements as outlined below:
- Whether a child is actually ill or not, including where a child does not attend care as part of the family’s own precautionary measure against potential contact with COVID-19, CCS can be paid for a total of 62 absences. This includes 42 absences plus an additional 20 absenses (during the 2019-2020 financial year) per child, without the need for families to provide documentation (active until 31 December 2020).
For the most up to date information, please refer to the resources posted by the Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/novel-Coronavirus-2019-ncov-resources
The Australian Government has a dedicated Coronavirus Health Information Line for you to call as well should you need to: 1800 020 080.
For more information about OSHC or to find a location near you, please visit: https://www.campaustralia.com.au/families/oshc