Free childcare announcement: Frequently asked questions

On 2 April, the Prime Minister made an announcement relating to Early Childhood Education and Care for in response to COVID-19.

As a result of this announcement:

  • Families who have not made any changes to existing enrolments do not need to take any action. They will be eligible for this new arrangement.
  • Families who have withdrawn your child from YWCA Canberra services since 17 February can re-enrol at the previous level of enrolment by emailing childcareaccounts@ywca-canberra.org.au. They will be eligible for this new arrangement.

Please contact our Childcare Accounts team if you have any questions about your bookings.

What happens after the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief package stops on 26 June 2020?

From 29 June 2020, normal fees and charges will apply and statements will be issued fortnightly. Two weeks’ notice is required for cancelling a routine booking or decreasing days. Further information about this will be sent to our Families via email.

Who can access the free children’s services?

Under the announcement, parents whose children are still enrolled in our services or who previously had children in our services will receive free access to childcare and outside school care (including holiday programs) from Monday 6 April.

How long will free childcare run for?

This arrangement will run for three months. It will be reviewed by the Australian Government after one month, with consideration to whether it needs to be extended.

However, we note that the Government’s funding model has been built on several assumptions, including that our staff will be eligible for the Government’s JobKeeper payments. Like much of the community and caring sector, many of our staff are visa holders who are not currently eligible for JobKeeper payments.

Will YWCA Canberra be waiving fees for the fortnight ending on 3 April?

With March seeing widespread cancellations of enrolments, many operators were facing financial distress before this announcement, including YWCA Canberra. We are unable to amend the gap payment for the current fortnight ending Friday 3 April 2020. Gap fees for this period still apply.

Does the free childcare include school aged care programs and vacation care programs?

Yes. All early childhood education programs provided by YWCA Canberra are included for under the announcement.

I previously withdrew my child from the services. Can I return my child under the free childcare announcement?

Yes. If you withdrew your child from one of our services after 17 February, you can re-enrol on your previously booked days by emailing childcareaccounts@ywca-canberra.org.au. You will be eligible for this new arrangement.

Can I amend my child’s booking under this arrangement so they can attend more sessions?

If you would like to increase or change your existing booking, please email your booking request to childcareaccounts@ywca-canberra.org.au. Places are subject to availability. 

I am not working. Can my child still attend a service?

Under the announcement, we are required to prioritise those parents who are still attending their workplace, at-risk children and parents working from home. Parents who are no longer working but who had previous bookings will be considered on a case-by-case basis and should send their enquiry in writing to childcareaccounts@ywca-canberra.org.au.

Can I get school holiday care for my child?

All existing enrolments for school holidays will go ahead as usual.

My family is self-isolating following international travel or having had contact with a known case of COVID-19. Can my child still attend a service under the free childcare arrangement?

No. Any family currently undergoing mandatory COVID-19 quarantine or are waiting on test results for a suspected case of COVID-19 must continue to self-isolate and cannot return a child to our service. We are obliged to report anyone violating quarantine orders. Should you require further information on self-isolation and quarantine, visit the ACT Government’s COVID-19 information page.

Who is getting priority to childcare?

Under the Prime Minister’s announcement, we are required to prioritise those parents who are still attending their workplace, at-risk children and parents working from home.

Can I add a new enrolment?

Our services are accepting new enrolments, although at the moment these places are limited. If you are new to our services and would like to discuss enrolment, please call 02 6185 2040 to discuss your family’s needs.