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COVID-19 Updates and CCS Financial Support Changes

Updated: Jan 11, 2021

Dear Families, Our vital role as Early Childhood Educators has not changed. We are continuing to provide high quality care and education for our children and families. We are here to support you all and work as a TEAM throughout the coming weeks and months. Please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to protect your children and keep them safe. Please see our dedicated Educators and Centre Managers for support regarding COVID-19. Please see the following information that supports your child continuing their education and care with us, and CCS financial support for you during this time. It would be greatly appreciated if you let us know if you have chosen to utilize the Governments 3 week increased allowable absences in advance, for the purpose of catering and staffing at TG’s Child Care. Advice for Families Changes to Child Care Subsidy (CCS) CCS law - Families are paid CCS for up to 42 ‘allowable absence’ days each financial year even where their child is enrolled but absent from care. A reason for the absence is not required. - If a child is absent for more than 42 days in a  financial year, CCS can be paid for certain reasons which include “the child, the individual who cares for the child, the individual’s partner or another person with whom the child lives is ill and the service has been given a medical certificate by a medical practitioner.” - CCS will only be paid if families pay the difference between the CCS and the fee charged i.e. the gap amount. CCS New Law - Increases the number of days that a family can continue to claim the Child Care Subsidy in cases where a child is absent from childcare due to coronavirus for more than the currently allowable 42 days - Gives a family access to additional absences, without the need for evidence, in relation to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) - Waives the requirement for a family to pay gap fees if the service is forced to close.   - The Government has also committed to paying the CCS portion of these fees in the event of a forced closure. What this means for centres is that we can keep paying our educators, our rent and insurances. It means that at the end of all this, there will be centres to send your child too. Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) ACCS (temporary financial hardship) is available now for families experiencing financial hardship. It can provide short-term support to families experiencing a significantly reduced ability to pay child care fees, including for example where a parent loses income because they can’t attend work. In most cases, the full cost of child care will be covered. It can be accessed for up to 13 weeks and for up to 100 hours of care per fortnight. Families can apply for this via their MyGov account, they will need to provide evidence of a substantial reduction in their income, such as an email from their employer. See Applying during temporary financial hardship Income support The Government has expanded eligibility for income support payments. Eligibility now includes, for example, casuals, self-employed and sole traders. There’s also an extra coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight to new and existing income support recipients. These measures apply for the next 6 months. Asset testing for some support payments, including JobSeeker Payment, will be waived while the Coronavirus supplement is paid. See Increased and accelerated income support. Families may be able to claim Centrelink payments if they have lost their job or had their hours decreased due to COVID-19. See Centrelink COVID-19 information for Families. What are we doing to protect your children from Coronavirus? In addition to our usual stringent hygiene and cleaning measures we are now more frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and engaging in regular hand washing with children.  We’re also implementing the following strategies: - Encouraging the number of parents in service dropping off or picking up children to be limited to 1 person per drop. We understand that siblings may need to enter the premises as it is unsafe to leave them in the car unsupervised.   - Avoiding situations where children are required to queue, assemble in large groups or hold hands. - We are spending more time outdoors if weather allows as children are less likely to be in contact with each other. - We are cancelling all excursions and unnecessary visitors into our centre. - Encouraging a further distance than typical when children are seated eg by removing every second chair from tables and using tape to mark sitting spots on the floor. - We have ceased activities which may have a higher risk of infection including play dough, cooking and dress up activities. - We have ceased sensory play opportunities such as goop, slime, shaving cream, finger painting. - We are mopping the entire centre, plus disinfecting surfaces such as kiosks, door handles, gates, glass paneling and common areas multiple times a day. - We have embedded health and hygiene learning into our daily curriculum, and we are having lots of conversations about washing germs away. - We are serving food to all children rather allowing the children to self-serve from the fruit platters. - We are leaving our drink bottles in our lockers to limit cross infection. - We have increased supervision in bathrooms and only allowing 1 child at tap at a time to wash hands, and limiting - We are cleaning our children’s bathrooms multiple times a day. - We are continuing to encourage families to keep sick children at home, if children become unwell during hours in care, we will contact families to come and collect.   If you feel that you want to keep your children at home, you should do so, but please do not formally remove them from care. It’s important that our educators continue to have employment and that our service remains financially viable and is able to remain open when things return to normal. We understand these are confusing and unprecedented times, we are here to support you, our families as much as possible so if you have any questions or concerns, we will be more than happy to answer or look into them for you. Thank you. From the Management of TG's Child Care


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