Family Day Care Matters 18/03/2020

Good afternoon and thank you for taking the time to read today's issue of Family Day Care Matters.

I understand that this is a stressful time and would like to reassure you that we continue to work hard to represent, support and promote our members in this difficult time. The health and safety of our members and the children in their care is of paramount importance to us.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to unfold, Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) has been working closely with the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) to develop an adequate support response for family day care educators, services and families.

Significant consideration is also being undertaken by the Australian Government, and state and territory governments, to explore additional support mechanisms should the impact of the virus become more widespread. We will continue to inform members about these discussions and to advocate for adequate protections. It should be noted that the Government is taking the potential impact on providers very seriously.

In this issue of Family Day Care Matters, there are several important stories on COVID-19, including an update from the Australian Government, information on your insurance and information on funding available to family day care educators and services.

I ask you to please keep an eye on your email inbox, as we will continue to share updates on COVID-19 and its impact on the family day care sector as they become available.

Thank you for your patience and support in this difficult time.

Andrew Paterson
Chief Executive Officer
Family Day Care Australia

 

New Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information Sheet from the Australian Government

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has developed a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for child care providers and services sheet. The information sheet covers:

  • absences;
  • Community Child Care Fund Special Circumstances funding;
  • who to contact and where to find more information, and;
  • answers to some common questions and links to frequently asked questions.

Please regularly check the DESE website to help ensure that you are using the latest information.

 

COVID-19: Funding availability for educators and services

What happens if an educator’s business is significantly impacted by COVID-19?

FDCA has advocated to secure eligibility for educators under the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity. The CCCF Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity is designed to support continuity of child care, in particular in disadvantaged or vulnerable communities, where service viability is affected by an unforeseen factor outside the control of the service, such as COVID-19.  Your service can apply on behalf of you for a grant to cover business costs. The amount of funding provided to applicants will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
 

What happens if a service’s business is significantly impacted by COVID-19?

Services can also apply for funding to help cover business costs under the CCCF Special Circumstances Grant Opportunity.

For more information on the assistance available, please click here or call the CCS Helpdesk on 1300 667 276.

 

COVID-19: How to deal with absences from child care

Where services are open, reporting  absences regarding families whose child/ren cannot attend child care due to COVID-19 is supported by the existing arrangements as outlined below:

  • Whether a child is actually ill or not, including where a child does not attend care as part of the family’s own precautionary measure against potential contact with COVID-19, CCS can be paid for up to 42 absence days per child, per financial year, without the need for families to provide documentation.
  • Once a child’s 42 initial absences have been used, CCS can be paid for additional absences for a reason defined in the Family Assistance Law, including illness. Evidence is required to be kept by the provider for any additional absences claimed, e.g. a doctors certificate.

For more information on how to deal with absences, please click here or call the CCS Helpdesk on 1300 667 276.

 

Important information about educators’ family day care insurance and COVID-19

Please refer to the below information which provides some general guidance around FDCA’s insurance policies and COVID-19, in particular, where they may relate to an educator's family day care business.
 

Does FDCA's Family Day Care Package provide cover for COVID-19?

FDCA's Family Day Care Package has two insurance policies included; public liability and personal accident.

These insurances are specifically designed to cover for third party injury as a result of an educator's family day care business. These policies do not cover any business interruption and are not designed to cover loss of educator income due to their business being shut down by an authority.


Do FDCA's Business Interruption Insurances (BI) provide cover for COVID-19?

Most BI policies typically cover disruption to a business as a result of physical damage to assets that the business relies upon. Some BI policies respond to the closure of a business by an authority for a number of risks, including infectious disease, for example Legionnaires. 

In 2005/2006 the global insurance industry began to introduce general exclusions for losses relating to quarantinable diseases. Whilst some specific policies may differ, in Australia the majority of business policies are likely to contain exclusions relating to losses caused by any disease notifiable under the Quarantine Act or in some cases the Biosecurity Act. In late January, COVID-19 was listed on the Biosecurity Act 2015 and therefore triggered this exclusion.

FDCA has reviewed our policies containing BI and, like most policies, they all contain this exclusion relating to losses caused by diseases under the Biosecurity Act i.e. COVID-19.
 

More information

If you would like more information of have any questions regarding FDCA's insurance products and services please contact memberservices@fdca.com.au.