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What Victoria’s new childcare rules mean for you

Your worker permit or ID issued by your employer must be shown to childcare, kindergarten, and education centres.

To obtain the permit, download the form on the authorised worker permit page. The permit must be valid and certified by an employer.

Parents and carers of vulnerable children can also access childcare, kindergarten and early education centres. A permit is not required for this.

In-home childcare is permitted for children of authorised workers or vulnerable children and a permit is not required for this.

Can a babysitter come to my home?

Yes, you may have a babysitter come to your house, according to the government website.

Victorians are permitted to leave home to provide child-minding assistance (whether it be paid or voluntary).

Babysitters must wear a face mask (unless an exception applies) and should maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres where possible.

Grandparents and elderly relatives are “strongly advised” not to mind children because of the risk to themselves.

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I can’t access childcare now. Who will bear the cost?

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge said the decision by the NSW and Victorian premiers to tell parents not to send their children to childcare unless they were essential workers had “completely changed the dynamics” and the financial viability of the sector and the Commonwealth has announced a package of additional support in response.

Centres in areas where there are lockdowns for more than four weeks or where state leaders have directed parents to keep children at home will receive 25 per cent of the pre-lockdown revenue, as well as the fee subsidies they would usually receive if all children were attending.

Outside school hours care will receive 40 per cent of pre-lockdown revenue.

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How will parents get any work done?

There is uncertainty for parents about how much work they will be able to get done while staying home with their young children.

Parents’ advocates are imploring businesses to be compassionate towards families, and let workers know that they would not expect high levels of productivity under the current restrictions.

However, Tim Piper, from the Australian Industry Group, said businesses had also been under extreme financial pressure since the pandemic took hold in March last year, and that employees should also “do the right thing” by their employer and take “annual leave, long service leave or even sick leave”.

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“Families, not all but often, have got two parents, so there’s a reasonable expectation both parents are going to be supportive of children … and that’s why under all circumstances, there should be a sharing of responsibilities,” Mr Piper said.

“It is reasonable to take [leave] … Some of these businesses are going through very tough times, and it’s up to all of us to put our shoulder to the wheel.”

Can my children go to school for on-site learning?

Schools are only open for vulnerable children, or the children of authorised workers if they are not working from home.

School-aged children of authorised workers cannot attend school if a parent is an authorised worker and is working from home.

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