27 May 2020
The National Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the Australian Government’s announcement to expand the Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment to support early childhood education and care services that are not eligible for the JobKeeper payment.
The supplementary payment applies to eligible early childhood and care services associated with non-government schools, that have experienced increased demand, were not operating during the reference period, or have seen a significant decrease in attendance from the 6 April.
National Catholic Education Executive Director Jacinta Collins welcomed the announcement saying it would help Catholic early childhood and care services across Australia continue to operate and support Catholic school families during the pandemic.
“The Catholic education sector operates about 250 early childhood centres educating nearly 5,000 children, as well offering before and after school care and vacation care to families at many Catholic schools across Australia,” Ms Collins said.
“During the restrictions, many services have seen fluctuations in attendance and demand resulting in significant financial challenges.
“This supplementary payment for services, that are not eligible for Jobkeeper, will ensure that the service can continue during this uncertain period.
“I’m sure this announcement will bring great relief to the operators and staff of these services, as well as the families that rely on them for early learning and out of school hours care.”
Nationally, Catholic schools educate more than 764,000 students – or one in five Australian students – in 1,746 schools, the vast majority of which are low-fee schools.