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'Just common sense': Childcare support extended for 12 months


Childcare gap fees will be waived for another year under an extension by the Albanese government to help support families manage cost of living pressures.

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The measures, introduced during the pandemic and due to expire next week, will continue until June 2023, the government announced on Friday.

The number of days a child can be absent from child care without losing their place will remain at 52 days in a year – 10 days more than normal.

About 19 childcare centres a day across the country are temporarily closed due to Covid-19 and influenza outbreaks.

Education Minister Jason Clare said it was “just common sense” to extend the support measures.

“Keeping kids enrolled in child care is good for them, good for families and good for the economy,” he said.

Early Childhood Minister Anne Aly said the support demonstrated the government understood the value of early education.

“Early childhood education is an investment in our children, our youth, and our future,” she said.

Childcare centres must use the government notice of a positive Covid-19 test as a form of evidence for the extra paid absences.

Providers are also eligible for support if they close or partially close as a result of staff becoming ill.

The government pledged it would deliver cheaper child care during the election campaign, with Anthony Albanese arguing increasing affordability of early education would benefit the economy.

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