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Responsibilities Of A Childcare Service When It Shuts Down Due To Coronavirus

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Responsibilities Of A Childcare Service When It Shuts Down Due To Coronavirus Image by TanteTati from Pixabay

If your service closes due to COVID-19, it’s important to understand what your obligations are under Family Assistance Law and how you can apply for the Community Child Care Fund to cover business costs including wages. 

Given that services are unable to provide sessions of care in these circumstances, attendance reports cannot be submitted into the Child Care Subsidy System.

Additionally, as child care cannot be offered, families should not be charged fees. In this circumstance, services can apply for the Community Child Care Fund. 

Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity

CCS and ACCS cannot be used to support business viability in times of hardship. The CCCF Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity is designed to support continuity of child care, in particular in disadvantaged or vulnerable communities, where service viability is affected by an unforeseen factor outside the control of the service, such as COVID-19.

CCCF Special Circumstances funding can help cover business costs, including wages and other costs to ensure services continue to operate even when some families have stopped using child care or cut back on hours (e.g. cancelled or changed enrolment details). Funding is available for child care providers and in the case of Family Day Care; a provider may apply for support on behalf of affected educators.
The amount of funding provided to applicants will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The Special Circumstances team will look at the individual circumstances of a service and the type of activities they need help funding when making a decision.

Applications for $10,000 or less typically take two to three days to assess and funds flow within 24 hours of a signed agreement. The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has also implemented streamlined processes to assist those services seeking larger grants.

For further information, eligibility and instructions on how to apply: CCCF Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity

Responsibilities As An Employer

The Fair Work Ombudsman has issued advice regarding your responsibilities as an employer including workplace entitlements and obligations if your staff are affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. This includes information about different forms of leave for full and part-time employees, as well as information for casual employees.

For more information: Workplace Entitlements With The Outbreak Of Coronavirus

Advice On Potential Service Closures

The decision whether or not your service should close will be made, and advised, by state and territory governments. Usually, it is from the relevant health department, but it may come from the state or territory regulatory authority.

If you close your service, either voluntarily, or as advised, you must notify your state or territory regulatory authority within 24 hours.

Further Information:

Please visit the Australian Government Department of Health for the latest health advice.
Please contact the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 which provides health and situation information on the outbreak. Call 131 450 for translating or interpreting services.
Please visit your state or territory health department for the latest local updates and guidance on COVID-19.
Please visit the Department of Education, Skills and Employment for more information for providers and services and Coronavirus (COVID-19) for the latest education and training sector fact sheets.

Reference: 
Coronavirus Information For Childcare Providers and Services, Department Of Education, Skills and Employment 

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