If My Childcare Closes Due To Coronavirus Do I Still Have To Pay?
Self-isolation, cancelled airline tickets, school closures, availability of toilet paper, to shake or not to shake...yep, there is a long list of questions on everyone's mind since the COVID-19 coronavirus was declared a worldwide pandemic. If you're a Sydney parent with little ones in child care, no doubt one of the more pressing questions on your mind is if my child's childcare closes, will I still have to pay the fees?
This is a very fair question as schools across Sydney keep closing and the threat of the whole of Australia going into lockdown looms over our heads. The question of whether or not childcare fees will still remain applicable if your childcare closes due to coronavirus (or if your child tests positive for coronavirus) has been addressed in the Australian Government's Coronavirus (COVID-19) information sheet for child care providers and services.
To put it simply, no you will not have to pay childcare fees if your child care centre closes because of a coronavirus shutdown.
Let's break it down further....
If My Childcare Closes Due To Coronavirus
Your Child Care Subsidy and childcare hours of care are calculated and awarded only on the basis that a service (the childcare) is open. So if a childcare is closed for any other reason other than a public holiday, attendance reports cannot be submitted into the CCS system and the service cannot report children as absent from the care and not worthy of receiving funding. This stipulation still applies to childcare services during COVID-19.
If My Child Is Absent Due To Coronavirus
The Child Care Subsidy allows 42 absent days per child in a financial year. Once these 42 days have been used up, the Child Care Subsidy will only pay for additional absences for reasons set out in Family Law Assistance, one example being if the service is closed due to a period of local emergency. If your child is not ill and you've used up your 42 absent days and still choose to keep your child isolated from childcare because of the coronavirus, you may be able to get a medical certificate from your doctor to allow you additional absences. It's important to note that a child's enrolment in daycare will automatically cease if he/she does not attend care for more than 14 days and without a valid reason.
*Disclaimer: These details are correct at the time of publication but are subject to change. In the midst of the recent COVID-19 outbreak, we highly recommend keeping your kids at home if they are displaying flu-like symptoms, and encouraging thorough hand-washing and sanitising practises throughout the day.
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