The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education is not over, one of Australia’s leading charities warns.

A new survey from the Smith Family has found one in two parents and carers feel the pandemic is still making learning difficult for their children.

Roughly three-quarters of parents and carers worry about their children’s future schoolwork and have struggled to help their children during the pandemic.

Two-thirds of parents and carers say the virus has made it hard to start school this year.

It comes as the charity kicks off its latest Winter Appeal, hoping to raise $5.4 million nationally to support 12,000 students through mentoring and after school programs.

COVID-19 has forced schools to shut their doors throughout the pandemic with experts worried about the long-term effects on students.

Teachers across the public and private sector have taken strike actions as they call for more pay and better conditions.

Smith Family chief executive Doug Taylor says disadvantaged students had been at risk of falling behind at school even before the virus arrived.

“We’re seeing a widening educational gap reflected in the (NAPLAN) data and we’re hearing directly from families that they’re worried about their children’s education,” Mr Taylor said.

Meanwhile, the Victorian government says its COVID economic recovery is progressing well following the launch of its dining and entertainment program at the end of March.

Tourism Minister Martin Pakula says the program has already been a success, with over 580,000 rebate claims to date.

“This program is helping to build business and consumer confidence, support jobs and contribute to our state’s continued economic recovery,” he said.

LATEST 24-HOUR COVID-19 DATA:

Victoria: 8737 cases, 22 deaths, 540 in hospital with 32 in ICU

NSW: 7540 cases, 25 deaths, 1139 in hospital with 33 in ICU