Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Thursday (April 2) free childcare for six months -- part of a bid to keep businesses going during the coronavirus pandemic.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, SCOTT MORRISON, SAYING: "This will be ensuring for those parents who are still in that position where they are needing that childcare, it will be free, and we'll be putting in place support arrangements to the childcare facilities, some 13,000 of them, to ensure that they'll be able to remain open and be there for those parents to ensure that they can do what they need to do each day." Childcare centres have lost significant business in recent weeks as thousands of Australians have been working from home.
The childcare subsidy adds to a growing list of support packages worth over $100 billion as the government attempts to 'hibernate' the Australian economy for the time being.
Australia has ordered the shutdown of businesses across the country to stop the virus' spread.
Morrison added that Australians should be prepared to live with these changes for months.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER, SCOTT MORRISON, SAYING: "I really want Australians to understand that we need to be in this for that haul.
It will be months, we need to make changes that we can live with and that we can implement, day after day, week after week, month after month." State officials say these efforts are paying off.
The country's daily infection rate has dropped to single digits from almost 30% just two weeks ago.