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Australian Childcare Alliance
Australia’s peak body for private long day early learning services, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) extends its congratulations to Prime...
If you are a member of Australian Childcare Alliance Queensland (ACA Qld) you would have received our Member Survey recently.
We have recently received some queries from members about their legal rights when representatives from the Union seek entry to...
The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) conducts analysis every three years on how Australian children have developed by the time...

News

UNPAID FAMILY & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LEAVE

CHILDREN’S SERVICES AWARD 2010; EDUCATIONAL SERVICES (TEACHERS) AWARD 2010

 

As part of the 4 Yearly Review of Modern Awards, and further to their decision of March 2018, the Fair Work Commission has varied the above awards to insert the model clause for Unpaid Family & Domestic Violence Leave. A new clause titled “Leave to deal with Family and Domestic Violence” has been inserted into each award (as the final clause in the ‘Leave and Public Holidays’ section) and the table of contents has also been updated accordingly.

In summary, the new clause provides for five days’ unpaid leave per annum which is 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 is 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); does not accumulate from year to year; and, is available in full (i.e. not pro-rated) to part-time and casual employees.

Operative date: first full pay period commencing (ppc) on or after 1 AUGUST 2018

Children’s Services Award 2010

If you are maintaining a printed version of the Children’s Services Award 2010 please print replacement pages 2, 27 and AVI-3 and new pages 27(a) & (b) from the updated PDF copy of the award which will be accessible to you on the ES website after following the above links for insertion into your Award File.

Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010

If you are maintaining a printed version of the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 please print replacement pages 2, 28 and AVI-2 and new pages 28(a) & (b) from the updated PDF copy of the award which will be accessible to you on the ES website after following the above links for insertion into your Award File.

If you have any queries about this information, please contact ACA Qld’s IR Partner, Employer Services, on (07) 3220 3500.

Issued:            2 August 2018

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

 

Knowing what and how to notify the Regulatory Authority (the Department of Education) is easier with a new interactive, online tool.

Approved providers have an obligation under the National Law to notify the department of certain incidents, complaints and changes to information.

The Notification Decision Tree (NDT) lists all types of notifications and guides users through a series of questions and answers to determine when to notify the department.

If a notification is needed, you will be redirected to the NQA ITS to sign on and lodge the correct online form.

Please include as much detail as possible so the department can quickly and accurately assess what (if any) action needs to be taken.

If you lodge a form when you are not required to do so, the notification will be re-categorised as non-regulatory and no further action will be taken.

Regional offices will, however, advise you via email why the notification was considered non-regulatory.

Please note that information contained in the NDT is for general guidance only and you must consider the specific circumstances of each incident individually against the requirements of the legislation when you are making a decision about whether to notify.

Approved providers, educators and services may also be required to report incidents or suspected incidents involving children under other laws including child protection legislation.

It is the approved provider’s responsibility to understand their obligations and operate according to the law.

To use the NDT, visit the department’s website.

More information 

Read the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority’s (ACECQA) information sheet about Key changes to notifications, incidents and complaints.   

Visit ACECQA’s website for more information about using the NQA ITS.

 

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.

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