Education Minister Alan Tudge has announced that child care services in Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspots that run for more than seven days can choose to waive gap fees for families who keep their children at home.
The lockdown in the ACT has been extended until 17 September 2021. During this time, Communities@Work’s Early Education and Care Centres (Child Care Centres) and Out of School Hours Care services are open and operating with increased health measures, including the use of masks.
The ACT Government is recommending that families keep their children at home if possible during this lockdown period. We understand that many families do still require our services and we will remain open for vulnerable children and for children whose parents or carers cannot work from home.
To support families during this time, Communities@Work has made the decision to waive gap fees for families who are keeping their children at home until 17 September 2021 (at this stage).
This will reduce the financial burden on families and allow families to keep children enrolled and connected to their service, which we believe is especially important during these uncertain times.
Information for families
If your child(ren) are remaining home during the lockdown, to ensure that your gap fee is waived you must mark all absences via KindyNow and select “self-isolate”. You can mark absences up to 2 weeks in advance with KindyNow, which provides 24/7 access to a variety of benefits.
If you don’t currently use KindyNow, we urge you to download it, as it will greatly improve processing time and accuracy. It can be downloaded for both Apple and Android devices, and setup takes only a few minutes.
If you would prefer not to use the KindyNow App, please email the Children’s Services Enrolment Team. If you do not notify us via KindyNow or email, then the gap fee will be charged.
Please note that families using services will be charged for attendance days as per their usual gap fee.
Please note that the gap fee waiver is not applicable to Family Day Care and In-Home Care as educators are self-employed. Parents/guardians with children attending Family Day Care and In-Home Care should speak to their educator directly about the waving of gap fees.
For more information, please refer to the email sent to all our Children’s Services families on 31 August 2021. You can also contact our Children’s Services Enrolments Team between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that our phone support is currently unavailable during the lockdown.
Additional Information from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment
Please refer to the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website to see key dates for gap fee waivers and additional allowable absences.
Families can also access additional allowable absences once a hotspot declaration period exceeds seven days. Allowable absences are backdated to the first day of the current lockdown.
Families experiencing a loss of income, such as casual workers or those in self-isolation, may also be eligible for support through the Additional Child Care Subsidy (temporary financial hardship).