Information has been released, designed to support early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to apply for the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package – Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment.
The Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment is available for providers/services who need a ‘top up’ to the Early Childhood Education and Care Package payment (base relief payment) the provider/service is already getting through the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package, and is intended to ensure that providers and services remain viable during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More Information can be found here
A provider/service will need to complete an online form and can be found in the Supplementary Relief Payment of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment ECEC information section that can be found here – providers and services will be notified when the form is available.
The form will require the applicant to provide supporting reasons and evidence with their application, outlining the need for a higher payment amount. For example, a service may require a higher level of support because the reference period did not accurately reflect typical service provision, because a service has taken on new enrolments since then, or because a service is providing care for longer hours than those shown in the reference period.
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has said that services should first determine their eligibility for JobKeeper payments, and initiate an application. In order to determine eligibility, the Department posed the following questions:
Is the provider/service a sole trader, or do they employ staff?
Do they have an ABN?
Are parent fees and Child Care Subsidy the sole source of normal revenue?
Do you have revenue from other sources? OR
Has the overall revenue across all the parts of the enterprise fallen by at least 30 per cent?
If the answer to these questions is yes, the provider/service is likely to be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment. In the event that a service is eligible for JobKeeper Payment, the applicant will need to consider how many employees are present who are not short term casuals, and multiply that by $1,500 per fortnight per employee.
Applicants should also take into account:
The amount received from the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payment in the first week
How many children were charged fees for during the reference fortnight
How many children are actually attending and for what hours care is being provided now.
If a provider/service is run by local government, or otherwise not eligible for JobKeeper Payment, it may be eligible for supplementary payment, the Department said.
Completing the form
The form will ask the provider/service to provide information about how many children are being cared for and will also ask for details such as:
What is your service and Customer Reference Number (CRN)?
Are you a person with management and control?
What is your PRODA ID?
Has your service closed due to COVID-19?
Once the form has been completed, it will be considered by the Department, who will take into account:
whether the provider/service is eligible for JobKeeper Payment – if as service is eligible, this wage subsidy must be passed on to eligible workers (and will be backdated to 30 March 2020);
how many children the service is providing care for and how often;
the number of children actually attending the provider/service; and,
the hours of care being provided.
If the provider/service is caring for the same number or more children than during the reference period, this would be relevant to the department in considering whether supplementary payment should be made.
If approved, supplementary payment will be added to the base relief payment. This is paid in the following week after approval. Separately, a supplementary top up payment, covering any period between when the application was received and the decision made, will be paid.
The Department said they will endeavour to assess applications as efficiently as possible, but that the process requires case by case examination of individual circumstances.
“To give providers/services time to register interest for JobKeeper Payment and apply for help through supplementary payment if required, we will be providing a double payment to all provider/services, including Family Day Care, in Week 2.
This means while a service is waiting to see if it is able to get an extra payment, it will get a double payment on Thursday 16 April 2020: the normal weekly payment, and an advance on another payment, which will be taken from the last payment run of the financial year,” the information sheet provided by the Department read.
To access the information sheet, please see here. Please note that the information given above was correct at time of publication, and may have subsequently changed.
Please refer to the Department’s website for the most current information.