Missed today's Novel Coronavirus broadcast from the Federal Department of Education

If you missed today's broadcast (19 March 2020 @ 11.30 am to 12 noon) from the Federal Department of Education about the Novel Coronavirus, you can watch it below.

This information session covered the following topics:

  1. What assistance is currently available to children and families:
    1. Allowable and additional absences (education.gov.au/child-care-provider-handbook/reportable-absences) 
    2. Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary hardship) (see servicesaustralia.gov.au)
  2. What support is currently available for services:
    1. Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity (education.gov.au/CCCFspecialcircs) (NOTE: A COVID-19 specific form will be available soon.)
    2. Support for businesses (business.gov.au) 
    3. Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws (fairwork.gov.au)
  3. Addressing some of the common questions:
    1. Who will advise if a service were to (temporarily) close (or if a service choose to close voluntary)?
    2. What if a staff were to test positive for COVID-19, and then the service needs to (temporarily) close due to the service's inability to maintain staff:children ratios?
    3. What if a family refuses to comply with an exclusion requirement?
    4. Should a service be charging parents if their child is excluded or if they choose to have their children stay home?
    5. What happens if a service refuses to accept a child who is not unwell, and not considered to be at risk as per the government's COVID-19 advice?

CLARIFICATION FROM THE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION: In relation to this question, “Should a service be charging parents if their child is excluded or they choose to stay home?", we would like to clarify that the decision to charge families in this circumstance is a decision to be made by each individual provider. The Department encourages providers to charge no fees, or a reduced fee, in consideration of the outbreak of COVID-19. The requirement for families to pay the co-contribution has not changed. The Federal Department apologises for any confusion this has caused.

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW is pleased to have provided all our information to date that are in alignment with governments thus far, with additional helpful information available from its arguably the most comprehensive index of all government and non-government information relating to the Novel Coronavirus at ACA NSW's "Novel Coronavirus Watch". This dedicated webpage is updated virtually every day.

Should you need more information, there are also live and recorded webinars available via ACA NSW's "Novel Coronavirus: (Virtually) Everything you need to know". ACA NSW members can access these webinars for free, and there will be a fee for non-members.