Childcare places, centres and jobs will be guaranteed during Melbourne’s harsh six-week coronavirus lockdown under a Morrison government pledge to save the sector.
Education Minister Dan Tehan will unveil a rescue package on Wednesday before ramped up measures to shut businesses take effect.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the initiative would secure childcare spots, while ensuring no centres close or jobs are lost.
“A triple guarantee for parents, the services themselves, as well as for the employees,” he told the Seven Network on Wednesday.
“This is necessitated by this big lockdown in Melbourne.”
There will be payments made to childcare centres to remain in operation and staff employed during the six-week period.
The federal government will pay subsidies so children can be kept at home without losing their place.
Victoria had 439 new COVID cases on Tuesday and another 11 deaths, bringing the national toll to 232.
Sick Victorians also face harsher penalties to stop people spreading the disease by refusing to isolate.
More than 500 Australian Defence Force troops are being deployed to Victoria to enforce stay-at-home orders, joined by hundreds more health officials.
All of the deaths recorded in Victoria on Tuesday were linked to aged care.
Deputy chief medical officer Nick Coatsworth said officials were working to increase the number of aged-care staff who have completed the government’s coronavirus training program.
“It is clear that infection control needs to be front and centre of protecting our aged care residents,” he said in Canberra.
The Prime Minister has announced $1500 disaster payments for Victorians who need to self-isolate for two weeks and have exhausted their sick leave.
But unions have argued it does not go far enough and should be extended across the country.
On Wednesday, Mr Morrison said he was open to extending the scheme to other states and territories if governments requested it.
NSW had 12 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, with a high school and primary school in southwestern Sydney closed after three students were diagnosed.
South Australia reported two new coronavirus cases as limits were reimposed on family gatherings and restaurants.
Queensland had no new cases, while another three people have been caught trying to dodge quarantine after travelling to Melbourne.