Proposed amendments to the Child Care Legislation
The Australian Government has introduced a Bill into the Parliament that proposes a number of minor amendments to the Family Assistance Law to cut red tape and improve the operation of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
The ‘Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Building on the Child Care Package) Bill 2019’ (the Bill) takes into account feedback from child care providers, services and families, and proposes to:
• increase the number of weeks at which enrolments automatically cease due to non-attendance from eight to 14 weeks. This will eliminate the need for children to be re-enrolled following most regular breaks in attendance, such as where a child does not attend care during the school term.
• remove the 50 per cent limit on the number of children that a provider can self-certify for Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing).
The Bill also proposes to make a number of clarifying and technical amendments (including adding In Home Care into the primary legislation alongside other care types) and enable the Minister to create new rules to make the subsidy operate more effectively, including in respect to:
• absences before and after a child physically attends care under an enrolment, and
• third party contributions to fees (such as certain state/territory government payments) that support vulnerable and disadvantaged children’s access to early learning and child care.
Further consultation with the sector will take place to develop new rules should the Bill pass through Parliament.
The Bill is available here.
Reminder: Have your say on preschool now!
Nous Group is reviewing the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP)* on behalf of the Australian and state and territory governments.
The Review will inform governments’ decisions about future preschool arrangements.
Nous is inviting submissions until 6 October 2019. You can also complete a survey on the UANP Review website.
The UANP Review Terms of Reference (available on the Education Council website) include consideration of how to maximise preschool participation, particularly for Indigenous children, children in regional and remote areas, and children experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage.
(*the UANP is also formally known as the ‘National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education’).
Child Care Subsidy System maintenance 21 to 22 September
The Department of Human Services will be undertaking scheduled maintenance of their IT systems this weekend. As a result, the CCS System will be unavailable from 10pm (AEST) Saturday, 21 September 2019 until 10am (AEST) Sunday, 22 September 2019.
For providers and services, this means no session reports will be processed during this period.