Morrison Government provides further support for WA families and childcare sector
The Morrison Government is introducing additional targeted support for Western Australian families and the early childhood education and care sector as they deal with the impacts of the Omicron wave.
Families will benefit from an unlimited number of authorized absences from March 3 to April 30, 2022.
In addition, Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will be paid for all absences prior to a child’s first or last attendance if the child’s enrollment begins or ends during this period.
The measures reflect the support offered to all other states and territories at the height of the Omicron wave in January.
Acting Education and Youth Minister Stuart Robert said the measures will help around 84,000 families and provide funding for up to 1,250 childcare services in WA.
“With the opening of the Western Australian state border, we must be prepared to support families and childcare providers as they deal with the impacts of COVID-19 in their communities” , said Minister Robert.
“Providing unlimited leave of absences to be used during the peak of the Omicron wave will relieve pressure on families and mean they won’t have to worry about their annual allowance running out in the weeks ahead.
“We will also pay CCS for families whose children cannot attend their first or last day of care during the peak of the Omicron wave.
“The Morrison government introduced these measures in all other states in January, and now we are offering the same support to Western Australia as they address the challenges posed by the Omicron wave firsthand.
‘The pandemic has continued to remind us how important the childcare sector is in providing a safe learning environment for children and in keeping parents and caregivers engaged in the workforce, and we will continue to support services across Australia to remain open and viable. ‘
On January 27, the Morrison government widened the deviation fee waiver for all children so that a service can still receive CCS if it closes, or partially closes, because it is unable to meet child-educator ratios. The deviation fee waiver will also be extended to services that close after following health advice from a government agency.
In addition, an additional 10 days of leave of absence have been granted to families nationwide, bringing the total number of leaves of absence for this fiscal year to 52 days. This is in addition to the unlimited absences planned during the peak of the Omicron wave in each jurisdiction.
The support applies until June 30, 2022 across Australia, relieving pressure on families and helping the childcare sector to remain open and viable.
The government will continue to monitor the situation and work with the WA authorities to support families with children in care and the early learning and childcare sector.
For more details on the new measures, visit: www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/childcare