NSW Floods support and assistance

Many early childhood education and care services across NSW have been impacted by recent floods and storms.

Please see below for important information and support available to you.

Stay informed

  • SES - publishes current warnings and provides information and advice about staying safe in a flood.

  • Bureau of Meteorology website - for up-to-date information about the weather in your area.

Government assistance

Streamlined applications and notification processes

If you’ve been impacted by floods and need to temporarily relocate, apply for a waiver or increase maximum number of children in your service, find more information via Get regulatory support webpage.

Services are required to notify the department of any closures, incidents, evacuations, or damage to premises. You can notify through NQAITS by completing the I01: Notification of Incident.

While the regulations require this to be done within 24 hours, services should ensure the safety of children, educators and staff as a first priority.

If you are having issues with accessing NQAITS, please contact our team by phone 1800 619 113 or email ececd@det.nsw.edu.au.

If you have lost paper or electronic records from your service due to the floods and these are not retrievable, please advise us as part of your notification.

Sector Support Flood Impact Program

The department has partnered with Community Early Learning Australia (CELA), Community Connection Solutions Australia (CCSA) and the Network of Community Activities to deliver the Sector Support Flood Impact Program to provide free support to affected services.

All community preschools, mobile preschools, not-for-profit long day care services and out of school hours care (OSHC) services that have been impacted by the major flood events in 2022 are eligible.

Participation in the program is voluntary and will be tailored to the individual needs of each service.

Services can now access assistance in the following areas:

  • Advice on governance, insurance, funding, regulatory or compliance issues

  • Advice on staffing or other human resource issues, and community support needs

  • Advice on the impact on provision of an educational program and service delivery

  • Other support and advice that may be deemed suitable to support the service to return to full operations

The department anticipates some services may need more intensive support than others.

This program involves staged work and includes:

  1. the initial phone call to assess the flood impact, extent of the damage and the effect on service operations
  2. ongoing phone and email support from your Sector Support Project Officer for the duration of the program

The program will benefit your service by:

  • maximising the potential to identify and obtain support

  • allowing staff to focus on delivering core services to your families and community.

Please contact the Department of Education to register your support by

Please provide your Provider Name, Service Name, Service ID, service type and contact names and details.

Converge International Mental Health and Wellbeing Support

The Department of Education has partnered with Converge International to offer wellbeing support to ECEC services impacted by floods.

All staff working in early childhood education and care services in the Northern Rivers and North Coast regions can immediately request personal support through Employee Assistance Program (EAP) - Supporting You by contacting Converge directly on 1800 060 650 or booking via their website.

Clinical consultants from Converge International are on the ground in Northern NSW to provide staff working in early childhood education and care services with face-to-face wellbeing support.

Onsite 1:1 counselling support sessions April 2022

Converage will provide onsite counselling services for ECEC staff in Northern Rivers and North Coast regions during the upcoming school holidays.

Clinical consultants will provide personalised 1:1 sessions, including post-incident psychology and counselling support.

Virtual appointments are also available for those who cannot attend in person.

You can book a session online via the Converge website.

Services can print and share booking information flyers with their staff:

The consultants are available to provide post-incident psychology and counselling support through:

  • Group sessions about the impact of acute stress (including emotional, cognitive, physical and behavioural), what to watch out for in others, and looking after each other and themselves
  • Personalised 1:1 sessions - Virtual or onsite appointments are available at four locations: Ballina, Murwillumbah, Grafton and Goonellabah.
  • Leadership support – what signs should leaders be looking for in staff as of not coping/maladaptive coping in the coming weeks?
  • Links with further personal support (following the psychology first aid protocol of Look/Listen/Link)

To access onsite and virtual support offered, please visit the Converge website.

Funding arrangements

Payments will continue to be progressed as scheduled for the following programs:

  • Start Strong for community preschools and long day care services

  • Start Strong Free Preschool

  • Mobile Preschools on contract

  • Start Strong Pathways

  • Aboriginal Families as Teachers

  • Ninganah No More

Australian Government funded services, including those who receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) should contact the Australian Government for further advice and information.

Family support

  • Find early childhood education and care services here.

  • Contact the department by calling 1800 619 113 or emailing ececd@det.nsw.edu.au

Early childhood guided learning packages - Families can access the easy-to-use timetabled activities to support continuity of learning for children who are unable to attend their service.

Child care subsidy

The Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment has declared several regions of NSW as a Local Area Emergency for the ECE sector.

If your service is located in a region outlined on their Local Area Emergencies webpage, services and families can access more allowable absences and gap free waivers, and there is emergency support available.

You can find important information about this on their Help in an emergency webpage.

Families that are eligible for the Child Care Subsidy may also be eligible for the Temporary Financial Hardship Subsidy

Mental health and wellbeing resources

  • Service NSW - offers a range of free mental health support including 24/7 telephone services.
  • Disaster recovery page - access a range of mental health and wellbeing resources for children, educators, families and the community.
  • Emerging Minds Community Trauma Toolkit – offers support for adults and children before, during and after a disaster or traumatic event.
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