By Melissa Grant
UPDATE: Only parents working in permitted industries will be able to access childcare during Stage 4 restrictions and they must have a permit.
From Thursday (6 August), only the children of permitted workers and vulnerable kids will be able to access childcare and kinder.
Permitted workers who have someone else in their household who can supervise their children must keep their kids at home.
If there’s nobody else in the household to supervise children, then that worker can access childcare or kinder – regardless of whether they are working on site or at home.
Those working on site have to fill out a childcare component on the existing Permitted Worker Permit to confirm they have nobody at home to look after their child.
Permitted workers who are working from home and can’t supervise their kids – and have nobody else to supervise them either – have to complete a separate form.
On the form, their employer has to attest that they are employed in a permitted category. The employee must also attest there is nobody else at home who can look after their child. This could be because the other parent is a permitted worker or that they are a single parent.
“And yes, there will be penalties if people were to make a false statement that they didn’t have an alternative in home child care arrangement, a member of their family, and then sent their kids to child care,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
Are babysitters allowed?
The Premier is yet to make a public statement on whether permitted workers can have babysitters or grandparents come to their house to provide care for their children.
However, it is understood that permitted workers can use babysitters or grandparents if that was their previous arrangement.
Am I a permitted worker?
To see the full list of permitted industries, CLICK HERE
Where do I fill out a permit?
For worker and childcare permits, CLICK HERE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES CHILDCARE FEE RELIEF
Melbourne families shouldn’t have to pay childcare fees during the six-week lockdown and will receive an extra 30 days of allowable absences.
Parents are being urged to keep their children enrolled at childcare centres and use the absent days, so their child still has a place when they resume work.
Families won’t be required to pay a gap fee when their children are not attending.
The Stage 4 restrictions mean children, except for vulnerable children and those of permitted workers, in metropolitan Melbourne can’t attend childcare for six weeks.
The Federal Government announced the extra absences and a raft of other measures on Wednesday, so services remain viable and staff are retained.
“Parents will not be required to pay a gap fee when their children are not attending and we will continue to pay their subsidies to childcare facilities,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“We will also make direct payments to childcare centres so they stay operational and staff are kept with an employment guarantee, while remaining open for workers and vulnerable families.”
The federal government is also providing $16.3 million to fund a higher Transition Payment of 30 per cent of pre-COVID revenue for Melbourne childcare services.
It is also spending $16 million to fund an additional top-up payment for eligible services that receive low CCS payments and are experiencing very low attendance.