Australia has initiated many measures to combat the effects of COVID-19. The Australian Government announced a beneficiary plan for children. It’s the new Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package. It was announced on April 2, 2020. From April 6, 2020, weekly payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services. This will be in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy. It will help them to keep them functional and maintain employees in their jobs.
The payments announced will be made by the end of financial year 2019-20. No fees will be charged on families during this time. Such payments will complement the Job Keeper Payment announced by the Prime Minister on March 30, 2020. Early childhood education and childcare services don’t need to apply for the payments. Their payments will be made automatically.
Also, up till and including April 5, 2020, services can give up gap fees for families because of the impact of COVID-19. This can be considered as from March 23, 2020. This is in addition to changes already announced. These changes allow services to waive gap fees for families where they have been instructed to close on public health advice.
On March 22, 2020, the Australian Prime Minister gave a statement about schools. It said that all leaders agreed on the fact that children should not lose an entire year of education due to closures caused by COVID-19. They agreed to the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee’s (AHPPC) advice. It said that it’s safe to keep schools open.
All teachers and school staff who supported the advice were extended the leaders’ gratitude.
State Premiers, along with Chief Ministers agreed to keep schools open throughout the current school terms. This move supported students whose parents wanted to send their children to school. Victoria’s school break commenced on March 24, 2020.
All leaders have agreed to re-open schools once the school break ends. This will be according to what the Australian Health Principal Protection Committee will advise.
Parents may choose to keep their children home than sending them to school. But then, they must be responsible for the children’s performance and conduct. They will also be responsible to ensure that the children follow all social distancing measures.
These children-friendly measures of the Australian government should inspire people to opt for Australian PR. Such measures will ensure that children won’t be losing their studies owing to the COVID-19. These measures are exemplary ones implemented by a government that cares about the nation’s children. It takes bold steps to ensure that essential areas like education don’t get overly affected.
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