17 April 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

For the health and safety of our staff and the whole community in line with the latest Australian Government advice, the Y in Australia is continuing to adapt and respond to the evolving situation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic to provide support and care for everyone in our community as best we are able in these unprecedented times.

Current situation – services
Of the 605 Y sites across Australia:

  • 169 (28%) are operational
  • 169 (28%) are operational (with reduced operations)
  • 239 (40%) are closed
  • 28 (4%) to be confirmed

68% of all operations across Australia are currently either closed or operating in a reduced capacity due to the pandemic.

The overall picture remains the same as last week, mostly children’s services, including early learning, OSHC, kinder, at home care, school holiday programs, disability services, and youth services that are now being delivered largely online.

Childrens’ Services has recently been buoyed by the Federal Government’s Child Relief Package and JobKeeper program, to help enable centres to stay open to support emergency services families, in particular. There are Y childcare programs open in every state or territory except Tasmania, including child care, kindergarten (mainly in regional Victoria), at home care (mainly Brisbane) outside school hours care and school holiday programs.

Some disability and community services are operating (particularly in Whittlesea and Bundaberg), and our vocational schools in Brisbane have transitioned to a hybrid of online and in person learning.  Some of our Government funded youth and community programs and services are still operating – again, largely online.  In Victoria, a social enterprise for young offenders categorized as an essential service, YMCA Rebuild, remains open for general maintenance and trades work. And in the Top End the Y continues to run a short and long-term hostel for disadvantaged members of the community.

This week a further announcement was made for Child Care Services here for an exceptional circumstances Supplementary Relief Payment under the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package here.

Other government updates this week here included public modelling, new mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies, JobKeeper, education, economic stimulus, small business lending guarantee, taxation, and movement restrictions.

Current situation – our people

With almost two thirds of our operations closed or operating in a reduced capacity due to Government directives, over 8,000 Y staff have been stood down and administration offices scaled back accordingly.

The two recent relief packages are currently being worked through by Associations, including the Commonwealth Government legislated the JobKeeper program to support or supplement eligible employees with a fortnightly pre-tax salary of $1,500 per employee for six months, and the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.

The results, in terms of our current staffing situation, are currently being worked through, as Associations work through the detail of the two packages (including Workcover details with JobKeeper).

Available for our Staff, Volunteers & Customers

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – is available for all staff and volunteers; Linkedin Learning – is providing complimentary access for ALL YMCA staff and volunteers across Australia; and YMCA has partnered with Les Mills to provide 60 days free 800+online workouts for all our members, customers, staff and volunteers.

Further Coronavirus Updates and Resources

See YMCA Australia’s public page for all regular updates on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic across the Y Movement in Australia. Link here.

For further great ‘at home’ resources from the Y – see Y at Home on Y NSW’s website.  The objective of this project is for Associations to collaborate in an organised approach, share resources and reduce duplication of efforts in product specific areas.

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