[NSW] Childcare Related Question Due to Current COVID Restrictions

Hi All,

A few months ago just before lockdown started I've enrolled my child at a local childcare service (not in one of the current areas of concern). As a result, of the lockdown the start date has been delayed due to lockdown extension, even though we've already paid the enrolment fee and a bond of 4 weeks. They are now saying we are to start end of the month and they can no longer hold our place as they have been trading as per normal. This is the first time I've dealt with childcare centre so I'm lacking in how it works internally.

Current NSW Health guidelines is if you WFH keep your child at home. Their staff are not yet vaccinated, fully or otherwise has not been disclosed. It's a long day care and charges the 12hr day fee even if child only attend half a day or none. Previously, they have mentioned that they are advising those that can keep their kids at home are encouraged to do so. So to me that says I would have to pay the fee indefinitely or pull my kid out?

Cases have continued to increase and we have already had 3 days of over 600 cases. I know most are concentrated at 'areas of concern' but the staff may be living in those areas and travelling to this centre. I know my kid would really benefit from attending for social and other early learning reasons. But with Greater Sydney 1/3 of cases are under 19, I am really worried.

What are my options?


  • +1

    If you can keep you kid home, I think do that.

    I know my kid would really benefit from attending for social and other early learning reasons.

    I think this can wait, especially you indicated you are "really worried".

    There have been a number of cases in Early Childhood Education and Care Services, so parents and carers across the state are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home, unless they need to be at those services.

    • +2

      Oh geez the word "need" again.

      It's a really tough call right now for me. With twins and no help, having them at home during the week means that our leave gets destroyed and our sanity vanishes.
      Cases in our LGA are in the 50's in total, with 2-3 new a day. I called the childcare, the staff right now are exclusively working at this centre and arent going to other same-brand centres.

      I may do an ozbargain where I take a day off unpaid a week, then the wife takes a day off unpaid a week; we both claim the $450 handout. Then we're only down to 3 days a week in attendance. We can then each take 1 day off a week with paid leave leaving 1 day in attendance. That one day is for us to actually have time and peace and sanity to cook, shop, clean.

      If they close the parks and playground …. i'm really gonna need those DVDs from my other thread :D

      • +1

        Have they not closed the playgrounds yet? Come on Gladys

  • Sounds like you are reluctant to pay the fee, and don't want to send your child to the centre for risk of covid.

    Presumably you want your child to still be enrolled but not pay the fee such that they can stay at home or away from the centre until the covid situation blows over.

    They're a business at the end of the day too and child care places are (in some cases) hard to come by. With my child's care centre, we have the option of selling the days but we still have to pay for it unless it's bought by another parent.

    Ask and see if you can sell your days to another to keep the place and not continually incur the fee.

    • Yes, I know they are a business and have overhead costs. I accept that.
      I dont think selling days is an option in this centre, and yes usually the waitlist is quite long here.

  • If they still have a long waiting list and you are worried about sending your kids, you need to either continue paying to hold your place or cancel your enrolment.

    Maybe ask if they are willing to hold the amount you paid as credit while you rejoin the back of the queue.

  • Gday. My kids have been in childcare.

    Due to covid, recently, the govt pays 100% of the fee if your kid does not attend, and non-attendance currently does not consume one of their absence days.
    Sound like you're delaying the starting date? or are they?
    If you're delaying it .. just "start now" and be absent. The govt pays all ! right now.

    Edit: Due to the way the CCS is paid, you may need to pay up front and then eventually the govt pays 100% CCS and then they start to credit your account and things should eventually balance out. You may be a month or so out of pocket. Once fun ends, then you may have some credit left over that pays the fee while your child begins attending.

    • Due to covid, recently, the govt pays 100% of the fee if your kid does not attend

      It may

      The govt will pay the CCS percentage to the centre without a child attending, but the govt will NOT reimburse the centre for the gap you're not paying, so most childcare centres have chosen not to opt into this optional scheme because they can't sustain operation with the CCS income alone.

      • +1

        Eeek. Lucky me!

    • +1

      Not true. My child's preschool still charge the gap to families even if they are kept at home

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