Education and Care and Child Care Services include long day care, family day care, outside schools hours care and vacation care programs.
These services are performing a vital role providing education and care for children.
Find an Education and Care or Child Care Service
To find a service, families can call the Child Care Family Helpline on 1800 291 041 from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Families can also search for early childhood education and child care services online using Starting Blocks and Child Care Finder
Early Childhood Education and Care Support Measures
Throughout 2020, the Australian Government has implemented measures to help the early childhood education and care sector manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These measures included an Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package (6 April to 12 July) and a Transition Payment (13 July to 27 September). The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) also recommenced from 13 July. All CCS approved early childhood education and care service providers have been able to receive this Transition Payment to help them transition back to CCS.
With the Transition Payment ending on Sunday 27 of September 2020, a new Recovery Package has been announced.
What does this mean?
- Additional support payments are in place for Victoria.
- Nationally the eased activity test will be extended to 4 April 2021 to support families whose employment has been affected by COVID-19.
- Should similar outbreaks occur elsewhere in the country, support for families and services will be provided as needed.
- Services at risk of imminent closure, temporary or permanent, can apply for support through the Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances program.
For more information on Australian Government Early Childhood Education and Care Support please see the Early Childhood Education and Care COVID-19 Information on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
Support for providers
Information about Government Support for the Education and Care Sector has been developed by the Department of Education.
The Department of Education has information on being COVID-safe in early childhood education and care.
Based on Public Health, Workplace Health and Safety and Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidance for education and care and child care we recommend:
- unwell staff, children and visitors are advised to stay home
- consider reduced mixing of children by separating them into groups (including the staggering of meal and play times)
- enhanced personal hygiene for children, staff and parents, including having liquid soap and running water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser available
- full adherence to the NHMRC childcare cleaning guidelines, with additional daily cleaning of high-touch surfaces and washing of toys and play items
- excursions only to be undertaken when risk mitigation strategies, including consideration of risks associated with COVID-19, are in place
- influenza vaccinations for children, staff and parents will be encouraged.
Should I send my child to child care?
Children should not be sent to Education and Care services if they feel unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms including:
- runny nose
- cough, sore/itchy throat or
- shortness of breath
Children should stay home and you should phone your GP or the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 for a referral to be tested for COVID-19. Children should only be returning to Education and Care once their cold/flu like symptoms have passed.
If your child has serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call Triple Zero (000).