5 August 2020

MEDIA RELEASE 

ELACCA welcomes additional support from Federal Government for Victorian early learning services

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) welcomes the Australian Government’s announcement of initiatives that continue to support the early learning workforce, children, families and providers as Victoria deals with the impacts of COVID-19.

ELACCA CEO, Elizabeth Death said, the Australian Government has reinforced the critical and essential role the early learning and care sector plays in our communities and how important the sector is to enable children, families, and the economy to respond to, and recover from, the impacts of the pandemic.

“Families can be reassured that children of permitted workers, those experiencing vulnerability or others as defined by the Victorian Government will be able to maintain continuity of education and care with their familiar and valued teachers. Quality providers will offer all other children unable to attend with ‘learning from home’ support.

“The Australian Government’s Victorian support package maintains the employment guarantee for the workforce across every provider.

“This sector wide result was not realised under JobKeeper which was not able to be uniformly applied across the early learning sector,” Ms Death said.

“Providers will receive additional payments to remain open, retain their workforce and be ready to open up to full capacity post the Victorian COVID-19 shutdown.

“The 25 per cent Transition Payment that currently delivers cash flow support to providers will be increased to 30 per cent for the next six weeks while Melbourne is in Stage 4 lockdown.

“Special provisions will also be in place for services experiencing exceptional circumstances.

“Allowable absences have been increased, providing an additional 30 days to all families across Victoria for the duration of lockdown. This ensures families can maintain their child’s enrolment without fear of losing CCS for absences.

“Families attending under lockdown will continue to pay their normal fees. Families unable to attend are assured of maintaining their enrolment without penalty for absences and at no cost, based on their provider waiving their gap fees.

“ELACCA members are committed to maintaining their highly qualified early years workforce and appreciate that the increased Transition Payment in concert with CCS will enable all providers to maintain their services to Victorian families for the duration of the lockdown period.“

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