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COVID-19 Updates - Services

Here is the latest COVID-19 information and resources for In Home Care service providers.

Update – 29 May 2020

Get help completing the application for an Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment

The Department has produced a video guide to help you through the application process and explain the eligibility criteria and important information and evidence you must provide.

dese video ecec funding application

Watch the video here


Update – 28 May 2020

A new early childhood online safety education initiative has been launched

Play It Safe aims to help parents, carers and educators teach infants, toddlers and preschool children basic technology and online safety concepts. It includes an introduction to online safety education through preventative messaging and a series of digital play-based and offline activities that children can undertake with educators in early learning environments, and at home with parents and carers.

Go to website >


Update – 27 May 2020

Safe Work Australia (SWA) have updated their advice for childcare services in relation to social distancing. While most of the information relates to child care centres, there may be some useful information for in home care services to consider as well.

Read – How childcare services can practice social distancing 


Update – 21 May 2020

Media release: The Hon Dan Tehan MP Minister for Education

The Morrison Government has responded to the four-week review of its child care relief
package by addressing the two key issues raised by the sector in consultations as part of the
review.

The review of the Government’s emergency child care relief package found the package had
succeeded in its objective of keeping services open and viable, with 99 per cent of around
13,400 services operational as of 8 May 2020.

You can read the full media release here


Update – 19 May 2020

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package Four Week Review

The Department has released the four week review of the ECEC package. You can read it here.


Update – 7 May 2020

Temporary closures

If your service is required to temporarily close for any reason you must report the closure and re-opening. Failure to report a re-opening may impact your Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payments.

You must report your service closure and re-opening in a timely manner, clearly stating the reason for the closure to the following authorities within 24 hours to your state or territory regulatory authority AND
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment in your state or territory.

Victoria – CCSAssessments-VIC@dese.gov.au
Queensland – CCSAssessments-QLD@dese.gov.au

CCS provider and service approval applications during COVID-19

Any Child Care Subsidy (CCS) provider and service approval applications received between 6 April and 28 June 2020 will not be assessed unless exceptional circumstances apply.

For more information please call 1300 363 079 to speak to the CCS Assessment Team in your state or territory (details above).

Information session

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment held an information session on 6 May 2020 for providers and services to discuss key updates to the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

The session covered:

  • expansion of the Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payments and tips for completing the application
  • increased access to the JobKeeper Payment
  • maximising and prioritising care
  • the Four Week review of the Relief Package

You can:

Watch the video here

Download the presentation slides here


Update – 6 May 2020

The Department advises that to be eligible for the Supplementary Payment, the following conditions must be met:

  • educators must be currently contracted to the service and have provided care during the reference period
  • educators must not have had an ABN on 12 March 2020 (those educators with an ABN should apply individually for JobKeeper payments)
  • these educators must have applied for an ABN by 1 June 2020, and
  • only one provider can apply on behalf of each educator (even if they work for more than one service).

Providers of FDC and IHC services receiving this Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment must pass on the payment in full to their eligible educators.

Information collected for the purposes of calculating the amount of Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment will be shared with the Australian Taxation Office and Services Australia for verification checking.

If an in home care service has already made an application through the Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment process, the department will be in contact with them shortly to request further information about those educators (sole trader contractors) who are not eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Confirmation and evidence will be sought that all relevant educators have applied for an ABN before any additional payment can be assessed.


Update – 29 April 2020

Many services had questions about the information provided in the department’s recent information session on 14 April 2020 on whether or not you can charge for consumable items or increase administrative fees under the Relief Package.

In summary, a provider’s usual service offering should not change:

  • If you provided consumable items such as meals, nappies or art supplies before the introduction of the Relief Package on 6 April 2020 then you need to continue to offer these services and to not charge families for these items.
  • If providers required families to bring consumables such as meals, nappies or art supplied before the introduction of the Relief Package, then these arrangements can continue.
  • If you charge administrative fees, such as late pick-up fees, these can continue under the Relief Package but the fees cannot be increased and no fees can be added that were not listed in the family’s Complying Written Agreement.

Update – 28 April 2020

The Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk is available to assist providers and services with information to help you manage the impacts on your business.

You can:

  • email the Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk at CCShelpdesk@dese.gov.au
  • send in your question via an online form
  • call 1300 667 276 between 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (AEST), Monday -Friday

Update – 24 April 2020

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) has commissioned Deloitte Australia to develop an independent Practice Guidance for the distribution of funds under the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package (ECEC Relief Package).

Please note – this is a guidance only and ultimately discretion lies with each service. While developed for FDC services, the guide contains information that may be useful for IHC services as well.
Click here to read Deloitte’s Practice Guidance


Update – 22 April 2020

The ATO has recently made a ruling that relates to how early learning service providers account for Business Continuity Payments through the month of April.
Click here for all the latest ATO information

Find answers to frequently asked COVID-19 questions by early childhood education and care providers. Latest update includes information about changes to additional fees.
Click here for all the latest FAQs


Update – 14 April 2020

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment held an information session for providers and services to discuss the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

The session covers:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payments including supplementary payments for exceptional circumstances
  • Other Australian Government assistance including the JobKeeper Payment
  • Answers to frequently asked questions


Useful Resources

Below is a list of relevant and useful information to assist In Home Care service providers.

Get more information about the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package (specifically for Family Day Care and In Home Care services).
CLICK HERE > 

Access a list of information sheets and resources created by DESE for early childhood education and care providers and services.
CLICK HERE >

Sole traders and self employed people may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
CLICK HERE >

Here is some useful information about dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace.
CLICK HERE > 

Information from the ATO about employees working from home.
CLICK HERE >