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An Important Update Regarding the Australian Government Announcement to New Childcare Sector Relief Package and the Return to CCS

Kids Club will make the return to subsidised childcare from 13 July a little easier.

You have, no doubt, received the news from Minister Dan Tehan that the previous system of subsidised childcare is to return from Monday 13 July 2020.

We are here to help support you during this transition period and assist all of our families in making sure that they get the support that they need to continue care for their children. Our Kids Club team is looking forward to working towards welcoming back everyone to our services as we move through the other side of the COVID 19 crisis.

An important feature of the return of the previous system is an easing of the activity test for families. The Government has announced that they will:

“… ease the activity test until 4 October to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. These families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.”

For families whose work hours have been reduced, this will mean that they may expect a higher CCS% and thus reduced net fees, while not necessarily experiencing a reduction in childcare hours.

Kids Club has also committed to take measures to ease the return of the previous system for families as set out below:

    • Fees will not increase from 13 July 2020 to at least January 2021. Combined with an increase in the underlying Government CCS rate, this will mean lower net fees to families.
    • All services (i.e. meals, nappies, cremes, etc) previously provided by Kids Club will return from 22 June. This will further reduce costs to families and make the transition a smoother process.
    • We encourage all families to contact Centrelink with any reduced work hours as soon as possible. If you then advise Kids Club of an adjusted CCS%, we can let you know as early as possible of your expected revised net fee for the days you are seeking to book.
    • Any families who are likely to struggle to meet the payment of net fees when the previous system returns are encouraged to contact us so that we can review your situation. It is possible that families in these circumstances may be eligible for the Additional Child Care Subsidy – Kids Club can assist with that process. For more information on how to apply for ACCS, watch our step-by-step guide which we compiled at the beginning of the COVID 19 crisis.

 

To help all of our existing Kids Club families first, we request that those families wishing to return to care or requiring additional days please contact us as soon as possible. We are anticipating increased demand for places at our centres and we want to ensure that all families are catered for.

For those families still unsure about returning their children to early childhood services

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee have reviewed the physical distancing requirements for early childhood education and care services and determined that the ‘venue density rule’ of no more than 1 person per 4 square metres is not appropriate or practical in early childhood and learning centres, nor is maintaining 1.5m between children.

The advice concludes “that there is very limited evidence of transmission between children” but that “adults [are] to continue to undertake physical distancing when interacting with other adults, in areas such as staff rooms and when picking up or dropping off children”.