Childcare and Education

On Friday the National Cabinet welcomed the Australian Government’s Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) relief package, recognising that the sector is key to supporting essential workers and vulnerable children, while also underpinning economic recovery by allowing parents to work, study and volunteer.

The relief package will provide families with free child care, while also offering certainty to ECEC services at a time where enrolments and attendance are highly unpredictable.

National Cabinet also supported the agreements made by Education Ministers on 2 April 2020 to reduce the regulatory burden on early childhood education and care.

Amongst other things, it was agreed that ECEC services will remain open for all families who require care and any future decision regarding ECEC services will be consistent with advice of AHPPC (noting families who require care include all essential workers and vulnerable cohorts).

The current AHPPC advice is that ECEC centres are essential services and should continue at this time, but with risk mitigation measures in place.

National Cabinet agreed with AHPPC advice that alternative care arrangements should be considered for those children who are highly vulnerable to adverse outcomes if infected with COVID-19 and that parents seek medical advice for these children.

The previous advice on schools has not changed. Education Ministers will work with medical experts to determine how the school year can be conducted.

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