Childcare centres will be encouraged to remain open and families given greater support under a plan to go to federal parliament.
Education Minister Dan Tehan says the current medical advice is for the childcare sector to remain open except where individual services are directed to close by health authorities.
Laws to be debated in parliament on Monday will:
* increase the number of days that a family can continue to claim the Child Care Subsidy in cases where a child is absent from child care for more than the currently allowable 42 days;
* give families access to additional absences without the need for evidence in relation to the virus; and
* waive the current obligation of childcare services to require a family to pay gap fees if the service is forced to close.
Childcare services will continue to be paid the Child Care Subsidy, which can be up to 85 per cent of the daily cost of a child's care, if they are directed to temporarily close because of COVID-19.
"By paying the Child Care Subsidy to services that are forced to close temporarily, we are providing financial support to businesses to pay their staff and remain viable so they can reopen when it is safe to do so," Mr Tehan said.
The assistance won't apply to centres that close voluntarily.
About 1.3 million children are in child care, with 200,000 people employed across the sector.
Australian Associated Press