Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that childcare for families who need it during the coronavirus pandemic will now be free as of Sunday night.

The package is expected to assist one million families and keep childcare centres going for at least three months.

The government will cover half of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly caps before Australians started to bring their children home.

The childcare sector will also receive more than $1 billion in wage subsidy payments through the $130 billion JobKeeper package, which was announced earlier this week.

“These services are vital for so many parents so they can provide for their family, and children need as much familiarity and continuity as we can help provide at this unsettling time.

“Priority will be given to working parents, vulnerable and disadvantaged children that need early education more than ever and parents with pre-existing enrolments.”

The package will also waive gap fees for families who keep their children at home.

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