15 April 2020

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) is grateful that in this time of extreme COVID-19 disruption early education has been acknowledged as an essential service. It is a critical service that allows frontline workers and those working hard from home to continue working. Most importantly, families can have the peace of mind that our youngest Australians are in safe hands and continuing their education journey.

The Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package together with the Jobkeeper Payment Package has enabled many thousands of services in this critical sector to remain open. Developed in a few short weeks, it has been a ground-breaking initiative from the Australian Government that allows the continuity of many businesses during this crisis and will be pivotal to this country’s recovery.

However, the Jobkeeper payment application is presenting challenges for some providers with unique business models and sadly we may still see some forced into closure.

The simple immediate solution is for the Australian Government to deem all ‘essential’ early learning and care services as automatically eligible for JobKeeper to enable all services to survive and children to thrive.