Financial support when it's needed most
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to evolve we know many families are facing incredibly tough times.
The uncertainly and stress is taking a toll on everyone, and it's important that families know that there may be additional child care subsidy support available to them over the coming weeks and months.
This is an evolving situation that is impacting families across Australia in many different ways.
We strongly encourage you to apply for support if your income has been reduced or impacted by COVID-19 or any other significant event in your life. Sometimes, it can take time for your application to be approved, so it’s a good idea to apply before free child care ends on 12 July 2020.
The subsidies below are designed to help you and your family through times just like this, so that you have one less thing to worry about and your child’s early learning can continue.
This is an unprecedented event, the impacts of which are not yet fully known. Please don't be afraid to ask for help. It's times like these where we all need to lean a little on each other, and reach out when we need a hand.
Families experiencing temporary financial hardship
If you are experiencing financial hardship and you need some help paying your child care fees, you may be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) Temporary Financial Hardship
If your income has been reduced because you have lost your job, you are caring for a seriously ill family member or have recently lost a family member you may be eligible.
You can receive up to 13 weeks of subsidies towards your child care fees, for up to 100 hours of care per fortnight. In most cases, these subsidies will cover the full fees charged by your child care centre (up to 120 per cent of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) hourly rate cap).
If you have access to a computer, you can apply online via myGov
or you can apply in person by visiting your local Centrelink office. To support your application, it is helpful if you write a statutory declaration that states the following:
- The event or incident that has caused your financial hardship, e.g. lost job, substantially reduced income, family illness, natural disaster, etc;
- The date this event occurred; and
- How this even has affected your family’s ability to pay your child care fees.
Families who are training, re-skilling or getting back into work from income support
If you are currently receiving income support payments from Centrelink, such as JobSeeker or Parenting Payments, you might be eligible for Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) Transition to Work
This subsidy pays up to 95% of your child care fees so that you can get back to work or do some study or training to help you find a new job.
If you have access to a computer, you can apply online via myGov or you can apply in person by visiting your local Centrelink office. To support your application, it’s a good idea to have a plan for what you want to do (i.e. return to work, train or study) and when you plan to start. This will help Centrelink work out how long you can receive the ACCS Transition to Work support.
Goodstart's Family Support Team is also available to answer any questions you have on 1800 222 543.
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