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Qld floods: Support Available


Following the catastrophic flooding disaster in northern New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland (QLD), the Australian Government announced on 9 March 2022 that more financial support will be made available for those families and businesses affected.

IN SUMMARY
Payments of $10,000 will be available to early learning services closed for more than seven days due to the floods.

This funding can be used by service providers to pay rent, wages and minor repairs during this difficult time.

The existing Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) – Special Circumstances funding will remain in place. However as you would be aware, this funding requires a more detailed process of establishing that there is risk of closure due to viability.

You can read the Prime Minister's media release about this funding support here.

ACA is heartened by this recent announcement, and we will continue to engage with Minister Robert and DESE about the impacts of the floods and COVID on our sector. 

THE DETAIL - Current emergencies
The Federal Government has declared new Local Area Emergencies (LAE) for more areas in New South Wales and Queensland following flooding and severe rainfall. They have also extended existing LAEs.

See the table of emergency declarations for a full list of regions and dates eligible for support.

Time period of support available
The Australian Government is providing extra support during LAEs between 23 February and 30 June 2022. Services and families in LAE-declared regions can access the support measures below.

You are advised to keep submitting session reports as usual. Emergency support, including additional absences, will be processed in the system soon.

Support payments
ECEC Flood Support Payments of $10,000 are available to services in flood-affected regions that close for more than 7 days due to flooding. If your service is located in an eligible region, you will receive an offer before 18 March.

Services must meet the following conditions to be eligible for the payment:

  • be located in an LAE-declared region after 23 February
  • close for more than 7 days due to flooding – this could be due to physical damage to buildings, staff shortages or school closures
  • waive the gap fee for families for the duration of the flood-related closure
  • agree to provide priority access to families impacted by flooding, for example if a family relocates temporarily but wishes to resume their enrolment in the future.
Services that need further support can apply for a Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances grant. Applicants should apply for a CCCF grant after an event has occurred and they have accessed other disaster support.

Absences
Children who live, or attend a service, in an LAE-declared region will get extra allowable absences for the duration of the LAE. They will be automatically applied in the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) System shortly.

This means families won’t have to use any of their 52 allowable absences during the LAE.

Gap fees
Services in an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child does not attend, or the service is closed.

Services outside an LAE-declared region can waive the gap fee if a child that lives within an LAE-declared region does not attend care.

Financial support for families
Affected families may be eligible for extra help with the cost of child care through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship). Families must apply directly to Centrelink.

Other support
The Australian Government provides payments and help for people affected by natural disasters. Find out if you’re eligible for support on the Services Australia website.
The Queensland Governments have support for individuals and businesses impacted by a natural disaster. Find out if you’re eligible for support on your state government website:


PUBLISHED: 10 MARCH 2022

SOURCE: ACA NATIONAL MEMBER ALERT 10 MARCH 2022

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