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Australian Childcare Alliance
Further to the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision of March this year to introduce an annual entitlement of up to...
As you would be acutely aware, the government's new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) has now replaced the previous system (Child...
The Federal Government has extended the timeframe for providers to ensure arrangements for transitioning enrolments (enrolled at your ECEC service...
The department has developed an Addendum to the QKFS Funding Requirements 2018 which contains important information about the Australian Government’s...
Gap payments in early learning service (centre based / long day care) Approved early learning services must accurately report the actual...
This morning, 1 June 2018, the Minimum Wage Panel of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its Minimum Wage...

News

Further to the Fair Work Commission’s (FWC) decision of March this year to introduce an annual entitlement of up to five days of unpaid family and domestic violence leave for award-reliant employees, the FWC has released the finalised version of the model clause.

Once draft variation determinations are issued in the coming days (these will vary every Modern Award to include the model clause) submissions on the drafts will be accepted over a 14-day period with the intent being the determinations will be finalised within July, allowing for the new clause to become operative from ppc 1 August 2018.

The five days’ unpaid leave per annum will be available “in the event that the employee needs to do something to deal with the impact of the family and domestic violence and it is impractical for them to do it outside of their ordinary hours of work.”

The unpaid leave entitlement will be available in full to all employees – including casuals – at the commencement of each 12-month period (instead of accruing progressively throughout a year of service); will not accumulate from year to year; and, will be available in full (i.e. not pro-rated) to part-time and casual employees.

When final determinations to vary each Modern Award are published (likely to be in late-July), Employer Services (ES) will amend each Modern Award accordingly. ACA Qld Principal Members will receive separate notifications when a Modern Award has been updated.

The department has developed an Addendum to the QKFS Funding Requirements 2018 which contains important information about the Australian Government’s new Child Care Package and the department’s expectations about providing written transition statements.

As you would be acutely aware, the government's new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) has now replaced the previous system (Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate).

The new system has meant enormous changes for the early learning sector, with service providers having to adjust to new regulation, a new reporting system to government, a new IT system, electronic sign in for parents at many services and a whole new process for families. 

The CCS also means that some families will be better off with a smaller "out of pocket" fee, while others will be worse off, depending on their family income and family activities.

With about 1.2 million Australian children in early learning environments, the new Child Care Subsidy is the most significant change in up to 40 years. 

ACA is very interested to find out how service providers have been affected by the new CCS and report these findings back to the Federal Government and relevant Shadow Ministers, with a view to engage with them about:

  • how to improve the new system from a practical, operational sense
     
  • high quality early learning services. how to improve the new system to reflect that all children count and that all families should have access to a base level of affordable

The survey should only take you a few minutes to complete and does not require any personal information that reveals your identity. 

You can access the survey here

We would greatly appreciate your feedback on this very important issue.

We will produce a report of the survey results in late July/early August.

We're also keen to hear how your families have been affected by the new CCS.

To this end, we would greatly appreciate your help in sharing our survey for families on the same topic here. You may wish to share our blog article which provides a little more context and a link to the families survey.

With your help, we can provide government with as much information as possible about how the sector has been affected by the new Child Care Subsidy.

 

Gap payments in early learning service (centre based / long day care)

Approved early learning services must accurately report the actual fee liability owed by a parent/guardian per session of care. Where a service provides a discount on an early learning fee, the family is no longer liable to pay 100% of the usual fee for that session — the family's liability is, therefore, the total fee minus the discounted amount. If 100% of the usual total fee is reported, the service will have failed to comply with its reporting obligations under the law, and sanctions and penalties may apply.

Make sure you refer to the "What must a session report contain?" in your Child Care Provider Handbook, that states:

"The actual fee charged must reflect the amount the parent was liable to pay for the session of care.

Where the parent directly benefits from another subsidy or discount that reduces their fee liability in relation to the session (that the provider knows of), the amount in this field must reflect the remaining amount after the other subsidy or discount has been applied.

Likewise, if the parent is not liable to pay the whole fee charged for the session (because a third party has accepted liability to pay some of the fee), this field must only reflect the portion that the parent is liable for."

The Government encourages reporting of child care subsidy fraud by reporting any individual, services or coordination units that are not operating in a law−abiding way. The Government has established a tip-off line managed by the Department of Education and Training which can be contacted on 1800 664 231 or by email at tipoffline@education.gov.au.

The Australian Government has brought in amendments to the Family Assistance Law which come into effect in July 2018, and also addresses these issues and places new obligations on providers.

If members would like to discuss this in further detail, please contact ACA Qld on 07 3808 2366.

The Federal Government has extended the timeframe for providers to ensure arrangements for transitioning enrolments (enrolled at your ECEC service prior to 29 March 2018) meet the requirements for a complying written arrangement (CWA). See diagram below.

fact sheet transitioning enrolments min rule final Page 3

Under this ‘transition rule’, some arrangements made between parents and providers before 2 July 2018 will be taken to be a complying written arrangement – whether or not the existing arrangement does, in fact, meet all the requirements for a complying written arrangement – until 23 September 2018. Specifically, this rule applies to transitioning enrolments that were ‘Active’ and ‘Formal’ in the Child Care Management System (CCMS) immediately before 2 July 2018.

That is:

  • the provider submitted an enrolment in CCMS before 2 July 2018, for which the parent was receiving Child Care Benefit/Child Care Rebate (whether by fee reduction or lump sum), and
  • the enrolment does not cease before 2 July 2018.

For these transitioning enrolments, a complying written arrangement will be taken to be in place between 2 July 2018 and 23 September 2018. This will ensure parents can be eligible for Child Care Subsidy for sessions of care provided under these transitioned enrolments between 2 July and 23 September 2018. From 24 September 2018, a complying written arrangement – as set out in the Secretary’s Rules – must actually be in place for the parent to be eligible for Child Care Subsidy.

You can download Federal Department of Education and Training's Factsheet on CWAs - Transitioning Enrolments

 

This morning, 1 June 2018, the Minimum Wage Panel of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its Minimum Wage Ruling. The FWC has awarded an increase of 3.5% to all adult full-time weekly rates in the Modern Awards from the first pay period commencing (ppc) on or after 1 July 2018. Proportionate increases will flow to part-time and casual workers, juniors and trainees.

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