The ASU is actively advocating for government support to ensure Early Learning Centre staff are paid and not financially disadvantaged if centres are forced to close due to COVID-19.
The ASU has written to Dan Tehan, the Minister for Education regarding recent announcements in relation to changes to ensure Australian families will continue to receive financial support through the childcare subsidy if their children can’t attend care because of COVID-19. This also includes continuing to pay the subsidy to centres that are forced to close temporarily, with the intention of supporting centres to be able to continue to pay staff and remain a viable service.
The Federal Government has introduced the Community Childcare Fund Grant which is intended to support approved Children’s services to remain financially viable while enrolments reduce and services close.
These amendments are directed at assisting families by increasing the number of days a family can continue to claim the subsidy in cases where a child is absent from care for more than the allowable days, removing evidence requirements for child absences and waiving the gap fees if the service is forced to close due to COVID-19.
The current clear advice from health officials are that centres should remain open, unless otherwise directed and that children should continue to attend Early Learning Centres. We understand that some members have concerns with this decision, so we propose a an online meeting next;
Tuesday 31 March at 7pm via Zoom Cloud Meeting to discuss these issues.
Early Learning services and staff seeking health and situation information about COVID-19 should contact the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Information is also available at https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19.
When more information becomes available the ASU will inform members.
We are asking members to stay in touch with the union and share any information or concerns that come to light during this time.
For further information please contact:
ASU Organiser Hayley Davies | firstname.lastname@example.org
If urgent industrial advice is needed please contact:
ASU Member Contact Centre | 1300 855 570