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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

The Social Welfare Department today launched a Child Care Centre Special Grant to assist aided and non-aided child care centres to tide over financial difficulties arising from service suspension due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The department said child care centres have suspended service or provided limited service as part of the strategy to contain the COVID-19 epidemic since late January.

Noting that some parents may face financial hardships under the current economic situation, the department said there is concern that parents may withdraw their children from the centres.

It said some centres may not be able to sustain their operation due to the significantly reduced revenue from service fees.

To help child care centres tide over the financial difficulties, the department launched the special grant and encouraged those centres to correspondingly adjust downwards the monthly fee to alleviate parents’ financial burden.

The measure was approved by the Anti-epidemic Fund Steering Committee yesterday.

The special grant would be given to aided and non-aided child care centres, including those attached to kindergartens for children aged 0 to 3.

The grant amount per centre will be based on the size of its enrolment as at January 15, and whether its service is a full-day or half-day operation.

The department issued emails to those centres today to invite them to apply for the special grant.

Once the application is confirmed, the first payment covering the months of February and March will be arranged in March, and the payments for April and May will be made on a monthly basis.

The arrangement beyond May will be subject to the epidemic and the centres’ operational conditions nearer the time.

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News