The Australian Government Department of Education has declared a period of emergency for families and early childhood services in 23 Local Government Areas in NSW plus Jervis Bay, which have been affected by severe weather, including flooding.
The period of emergency applies from 1 to 8 July for families and services in the following Local Government Areas:
Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Central Coast, Cessnock, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Kiama, Lithgow, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Penrith, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Sutherland, The Hills, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly and Wollongong, and (unincorporated territory) Jervis Bay.
The following support is available for families and services in affected areas during the period of emergency:
- Families who receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) must ordinarily make a co-contribution to their child care fees under Family Assistance Law. They do this by paying the gap fee.
- During a period of emergency, you can waive the gap fee for families if a child does not attend care, including if your service is closed.
Families can get CCS when their child is absent from care for up to 42 days per financial year. We increased the absence count to 52 days for the 2021–22 and 2022–23 financial years.
- During a period of emergency, families in affected regions won’t have to use their annual allocation of allowable absences.
- Children who live or attend a service in an affected region will get extra allowable absences for the duration of the period of emergency.
- These absences will be automatically applied in the Child Care Subsidy System if we declare a period of emergency.
Following the period of emergency, families may access additional absences if they’ve exhausted their annual allocation of allowable absences:
- for 28 days after the emergency, if a child is unable to attend
- for 7 days after an emergency, if a family decides the child should not attend.
- During a period of emergency, you will continue to receive CCS payments if you close as a direct result of the emergency. For example, if your service is not safe to enter or staff are unable to travel to the service because of an emergency.
- If your service remains closed following the period of emergency, you cannot continue to receive CCS payments.
- If your service is able to operate during the period of emergency but you decide to remain closed, you won’t receive CCS.
- You must tell us if you temporarily close your service, for any reason and for any period. Do this via the PEP or your third-party software.
- You also need to tell your state or territory regulatory authority.
- Your state and territory government may have rules on when and how communities should protect themselves during an emergency. For guidance on whether to close during an emergency, please contact your state or territory regulatory authority.
Caring For Displaced Children
- You can take on displaced children from another service during a period of emergency. CCS will be paid as per any other enrolled child.
- You must not exceed your licensed number of places when taking on displaced children. If you need more places, contact your state or territory regulatory authority.
For more information or to access support: Emergency Support