Childcare centres and after-school services in coronavirus hotspots will be subsidised to keep afloat during lockdown.

The federal government will pay childcare providers 25 per cent of their pre-lockdown revenues and outside school hours care services 40 per cent.

It’s expected to cost between $40 million and $50 million a week after child care access was restricted in parts of the country.

About 4800 providers and 380,000 families are expected to benefit.

In Victoria, only children of authorised workers or those who are considered vulnerable can go to child care.

The NSW government wants parents to keep their children at home but hasn’t mandated it.

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge expects attendance to fall off a cliff.

“We’re cognisant of that and therefore want to make sure that those childcare centres will be viable,” he told reporters in Canberra on Monday.

“They need to stay open, particularly for those essential workers to be able to drop their kids off and go to the hospitals and go to the medical clinics.”

Childcare services in Sydney and the ACT, and after-hours care in Melbourne, will be eligible immediately.

All other services in Melbourne, and across regional Victoria and NSW, will be eligible after seven days.

Payments will be backdated to the scheme’s announcement.

The subsidy will extend to all childcare providers across the country after four weeks of lockdown.

It comes on top of previously announced support for centres to waive gap fees for non-attendance.

But centres who want the latest subsidy can’t claim any other federal support.

Eligibility will be assessed on a centre-by-centre basis.

Centres must anticipate attendance below 50 per cent and will be required to maintain current staffing levels.

Subsidies for child care in lockdown areas
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