• Tony Bosworth

Childcare gap-fee waiver for Hawkesbury families during lockdown

If you have children in day care and choose to keep them at home during COVID restrictions you can get the gap fee – the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the Government pays to a service and the remaining fee paid by the family – waived and not pay it.

It does not mean your child care centre will definitely cover the gap fee, but most should, and it can also apply to before and after child-care costs.

The scheme – part of the federal government’s recently announced NSW COVID-19 Support Package – doesn’t mean all child-care centres will offer the waiver, though Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said many in the sector had been asking for this change and were expected to offer the gap-fee waiver.

From Monday July 19, childcare centres in the Hawkesbury, can waive gap-fees on the days that parents choose to keep their children at home.

“This is another measure that will make life easier for many families in the Hawkesbury during these challenging times, says Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Marise Payne.

“This adds to the significant financial support we have already announced through the NSW COVID-19 Support Package which is backing families and businesses, and providing additional mental health support.”

“This opt-in measure ensures children remain enrolled in care and the Commonwealth childcare subsidy continues to flow to the centre,” said Minister Tudge, “providing a valuable, stable and certain source of revenue during this time.”

The measure builds on the existing gap fee waiver that is in place until the end of the year, where gap fees can be waived if a service is directed to close due to public health advice.

Families experiencing a loss of income, such as casual workers or those in self-isolation, may also be eligible for support through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship).

The federal government has committed around $3 billion to support the early childhood education and care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Picture - Sharon McCutcheon

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