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Australian Childcare Alliance
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The update below was emailed to all approved providers from the Department of Education and Training (DET) in early August.

Cancellation of attendance records in previous financial years can cause a range of issues for both child care providers and individuals, including incurring debts. 

From July 2017, to ensure that only genuine amendments were made to the Child Care Management System, providers were prevented from submitting and cancelling attendance records relating to previous financial years.
This restriction remains in effect under the new arrangements, however in recognition of the transition to the Child Care Subsidy System, until 30 September 2018 providers will be able to make amendments to session reports from last financial year. 

After this date, providers will need to apply to the department to make changes, with approval only given in exceptional circumstances.

Please be aware that the department takes the integrity of child care fee assistance seriously and will be closely monitoring all cancellations and resubmissions to ensure these are compliant with Family Assistance Law.  

Providers should familiarise themselves with the circumstances in which resubmissions are permissible (further information to assist with this process will be sent). The department has strengthened regulatory powers to safeguard the integrity of child care fee assistance, and will take action against non-compliance when necessary.
After 30 September 2018, the department will not accept claims that a provider did not know or understand their obligations or responsibilities.

Are you familiar with early learning services requirements for educators to achieve ‘actively working towards’ provisions under regulations 126(1) and 127 of the National Regulations?

Actively working towards a qualification

If you are 'actively working towards' an approved certificate III, diploma or early childhood teaching (ECT) qualification you may be counted towards qualification requirements. 

Certificate III and Diploma Educators

You are considered actively working towards an approved certificate III level qualification if you can provide documentary evidence from the course provider to your approved provider that you are: 

  • enrolled in the course and have started study 
  • making satisfactory progress towards completing the course
    N.B. In examining whether an educator is making satisfactory progress towards completing the course, regulatory authorities should look at whether the educator is enrolled in a unit or competency for the course and may consider whether the educator is progressing their studies at a pace that will enable them to complete the course in the timeframe permitted by the educational institution delivering the course.
  • meeting the requirements to maintain enrolment. 

You are considered actively working towards an approved diploma level qualification if you can satisfy all of the above and one of the following: 

  • hold an approved certificate III level qualification OR
  • have completed the approved certificate III units OR
  • have completed 30% of the units in an approved ECT qualification.

Please note that all family day care coordinators in Australia are required to have an approved diploma level education and care qualification and cannot be ‘actively working towards’ this qualification.

Actively working towards provisions apply under regulations 126(1) and 127 of the National Regulations

Taken to be an early childhood teacher

In September 2017, the Education Council agreed to extend regulation 242 of the National Regulations. Under regulation 242, you are ‘taken to be an early childhood teacher’ until 31 December 2019 if you: 

  • are enrolled in an approved early childhood teaching qualification, and  
  • give the approved provider documentary evidence from the course provider that you: 
    • have started the course, and 
    • are making satisfactory progress towards completing the course, and 
    • are meeting the requirements for maintaining the enrolment, and 
    • hold an approved diploma level educator qualification, or have completed at least 50 per cent of the course. 

This transition provision will end on 31 December 2019. From 1 January 2020, an educator will need to have completed their ECT qualification to be considered a qualified ECT. However, educators ‘actively working towards’ an approved ECT qualification may still be counted as a certificate III or diploma level educator, depending on how much of the approved ECT qualification they have completed.

ACECQA website

We have some very exciting news! Our patron, Laurie Lawrence and the Kids Alive - Do the Five Team are releasing an online professional development opportunity for Early Childhood Educators.

It will be officially launched at 8am on Saturday, 1 September 2018 on the beach at Currumbin Surf Club Gold Coast. It's FREE, join NOW!

This professional development opportunity is a free initiative and can be linked to the Early Years Learning Framework and National Quality Standards.

Water safety education is vital for all young children. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death in children under 5 in Australia. Unfortunately, many more children will experience a non-fatal drowning which can lead to life long disabilities.

We must be proactive with positive and engaging water safety education for our children. By providing this during the early years we can develop a love and respect for the water which will last a lifetime.

This professional development opportunity showcases actual lesson plans delivered by the highly skilled educators at our member service, Bright Buttons Currumbin. Over a 4-week period a production crew documented the lesson plans delivered to the children. These lesson plans were designed to showcase activity ideas and teaching strategies utilised by the educators.

New initiatives like this will continue to help raise awareness for drowning prevention in children under 5.

"I would like to thank you in advance for your contribution in educating Australian children. You are lifesavers!" - Laurie LawrenceACA Qld Patron & Kids Alive Do The Five founder

Kids Alive Do The Five App

Download and let the families in your service know about the Kids Alive - Do The Five app!

The app features home pool, beach, and farm safety books, songs, and animated cartoons!

Australian Childcare Alliance Queensland (ACA Qld) and ACA National have worked closely with the sector including Goodstart, Department of Education (DOE), State and Federal Governments including The Honourable Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations and The Honourable Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training, along with other key stake holders, to address the application of the QKFS Plus funding.

Queensland Kindergarten Funding Scheme (QKFS) Plus, provides fee subsidies for children from lower income families (Australian Government Health Care Card holders) equating to approximately $31 a week. When previously applied, in addition to Child Care Benefit (CCB) & Child Care Rebate (CCR), this resulted in Kindergarten programs in early learning (centre based, long day care) services being free for around 8,700 Queensland children. (For eligibility requirements, please click here.)

Under the Family Assistance Act as part of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), this subsidy was required to be applied before the CCS was calculated, potentially eroding up to 85% of the benefit for families and increasing the out of pocket cost for Kindergarten.

The Honourable Grace Grace MP, Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations raised this issue on behalf of ACA Qld members with the Federal Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Honourable Simon Birmingham.  Please click here to view the letter from the Australian Department of Education and Training advising that providers should continue their existing practices so that families receiving QKFS Plus are not negatively impacted, until a longer term solution is found.

This is a real victory for families and ACA would like to acknowledge and thank all involved in achieving this outcome. ACA will continue to work with the Department and Government to secure a long term solution.

Oversupply is an increasing issue in Australia’s early learning sector. 

With few barriers to entry for new or existing providers to set up new services, the saturation of early learning services in certain geographic areas has led to many services experiencing lower utilisation or being squeezed out of business. Planning data* predicts that there are currently over 1,000 new services in the pipeline around the nation, which if completed could deliver another 90,000 early learning places in an already flooded market. 

If not addressed, oversupply will lead to increased costs for families and may impact on the quality of services in local communities.  However with the right policies in place, we can ensure a sustainable early learning sector that continues to provide families with affordable high quality early learning services, thus giving Australia’s youngest generation the best start in life.
In this context, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA), Australian Community Children’s Services (ACCS) and the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) have joined forces to commission a survey for all early learning service providers, to identify patterns in the under and oversupply of early learning services across Australia. 
As a unified voice, our aim is to use the resulting data to engage with relevant government departments and planning authorities, to work towards addressing the growing issue of oversupply in some areas. 
The survey collects information on a range of topics and aspects including the rates you charge per day, your occupancy rates per day and by age group.  
All survey responses are confidential to the market research firm (Urban Economics) collecting the data. None of the partner organisations will have access to individual survey responses. We encourage all services to take the time to complete this survey so that our study into this critical issue can comprehensively cover all geographic areas in Australia.

It should take around 5-10 minutes of your time.

Please note: When completing the survey, you will need to have your service occupancy data close at hand. For those owning or managing multiple services, we would kindly request that you complete the survey individually for each service. 

You can complete the survey here.

We aim to produce a report summarising the key findings within a month of the survey closing, which we will share with the early learning sector.
If you have any questions about the survey and its process, please do not hesitate to contact Kerrianne from Urban Economics on 07 3839 1400 or 
*According to data sourced from Cordell Connect

Did you know the Department of Education and Training has a range of information about Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) available for you to refer to when you have questions? 

The ACCS (child wellbeing) guide contains information about:

  • Certificates
  • Determinations
  • Referrals to appropriate support organisations
  • 50% limits

You can find a recording of the Department's 22 June 2018 webcast about the ACCS child wellbeing guide. Centre Directors and Administrators, who will be giving certificates or applying for determinations so families can receive ACCS (child wellbeing), will find this presentation useful.

Have you read the four ACCS factsheetsThese are great resources that can assist families and services to understand the four types of ACCS.

CCS Helpdesk Contact Details
The CCS Helpdesk operators are available to take your calls from 8:00am to 5:30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, Monday to Friday. Please have your CCMS Organisation ID or CCS Service ID ready to provide to the operators for authorisation verification.

You can contact the CCS Helpdesk by email at or by phoning 1300 667 276. Please be ready to provide families CRNs and other relevant details before you call the Helpdesk.
CCS Helpdesk Operating Hours
Re-commencing from 8 August 2018, the CCS Helpdesk will be closed for short periods twice per month, for staff development and training. This helps to ensure the Helpdesk operators are able to give you the best possible service. The CCS Helpdesk will be closed during the following periods:
  • The second Wednesday of every month (1:00pm – 5:30pm)
  • The last Wednesday of every month (8:00am - 10:00am)
The CCS Helpdesk is also closed on ACT and national public holidays.