Waiver of gap fee for absences due to COVID-19 extended to June 2023

The Federal Government has confirmed the extension of the gap fee waiver for children absent from care due to COVID-19 until 30 June 2023. 

The waiver was due to expire next week but has now been extended for a further year. 

The Federal Department of Education Skills and Employment  (DESE) have confirmed the following:

Until 30 June 2023 services can waive the gap fee for families and continue to receive CCS if a child is unable to attend care for one of three reasons:

1The child, or a member of their immediate household, must isolate with COVID-19.

2. The child is at a higher risk of severe disease from COVID-19.

This includes:

  • children with a disability
  • children with severe chronic health conditions
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Where the child has a disability or chronic health condition, the family must provide a letter from a medical practitioner confirming the child is at higher risk before you can waive the gap fee. You must keep a record of the letter.

3. The service, or a room at the service, is closed due to COVID-19.

This includes closures:

  • because educator-to-child ratios cannot be safely met while educators are isolating
  • because a Family Day Care or In Home Care educator can’t provide their usual service while they, or a member of their immediate household, are isolating due to COVID-19.

Additionally, we confirm that the allowable absences have been increased for both the 2021-22 AND 2022-23 financial years, to 52 days.