Free childcare for working parents during pandemic

Andrew Cummings
April 8, 2020

Education Minister Dan Tehan said the aim was to make sure parents won't have to worry about trying to find new care for their children.

Childcare centres have lost significant business in recent weeks as thousands of Australians have been working from home.

"Childcare and early childhood education is critical, particularly for those Australians who rely on it so they can go to work every day", Mr Morrison said.

Under the scheme, any childcare service that is being subsidised by the Government, which includes after-school care, will be free for parents.

Under the plan, the government will pay 50 per cent of each childcare centre's fee revenue, but only on condition the centre remains open and does not charge families for care.

The funding will start from April 6 and will cover enrolments as they stood in the fortnight leading up to March 2, before people started pulling their kids out of care en masse due to losing their jobs or out of health fears. The system will be reviewed after one month, with an extension to be considered after three months.

"The most important of those are those essential workers and the vulnerable children".

"But we have to accept that there will be, for some protracted period of time, this combination of distance learning, and for those who can't do that at home, no child should be turned away".

Prime Minister Scott Morrison provides an update on COVID-19.

Stating that the broader measures have had good effect on controlling the rate, Murphy said 'We're still detecting returned travellers, still detecting contacts of returned detecting contacts of returned travellers, but those numbers are reducing.

"I really want Australians to understand that we need to be in this for the haul".

"We are one of the few, if only, countries that have been talking about the coronavirus pandemic as being one that we are going to have to live with for at least the next six months", he told a press conference.

Morrison pointed out it was a requirement for students who come to Australia to be able to support themselves in their first 12 months of their study.

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