Childcare Fees and Childcare Subsidy (CCS)
Updated: Jan 31, 2019
CHILDCARE FEES & CHILDCARE SUBSIDY
Families are asked to ensure fees are paid at least two weeks in advance at all times. The preferred payment for fees is through direct transfer to our centre’s account. If fees are not kept up to date it will jeopardize your child's booking and their position may be suspended or cancelled.
The Centre Director can provide families with an estimate of their childcare subsidy (CCS) amount based on information provided. Please note that parents are responsible for the payment of full fees at the service, and where CCS has been applied families are responsible for the “gap” amount. Where CCS is cancelled or reduced due to a change in a family’s circumstances the family is still responsible for any amount outstanding on their account.
Our child care software package communicates directly with Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) weekly, via the internet to relay information about CCS eligibility and child care attendance.
WHAT ARE MY RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RECEIVING CHILDCARE SUBSIDY (CCS)?
When receiving CCS you are responsible for keeping the Australian Government and your child care service up-to-date and notify them when your circumstances change.
Here is a checklist of responsibilities:
Provide your child care service/s with your Customer Reference Numbers, dates of birth and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care fee assistance assessment notice,
Sign or initial attendance records daily to show when your child starts care (‘time in’) and finishes care (‘time out’)—do not sign blank attendance records
Sign or initial attendance records each time your child is absent from care
Inform each child care service you are using when you have used your initial 42 absence days (only if you receive CCS as a fee reduction) and provide your child care service with documents where necessary for:
Additional absence days your child is absent from care
An increase in the number of maximum hours you can get paid CCS
Advice the Family Assistance Office when changes happen that may affect your CCS. These include when:
Your child stops using child care
Your child starts or leaves school
You and your partner’s income changes
You change partnering arrangements (opposite or same-sex) for example, if you get married, registered, separated or divorced
You or your partner’s residence status changes
Your address or bank account details change
WHAT ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS DO I HAVE TO MEET TO GET CCS?
To be eligible you need to meet all of the following:
Residency - You or your partner must be an Australian citizen, a permanent resident living in Australia or be exempted from the Government’s residency requirements
Use approved or registered child care
Immunisation - Children under seven must meet the Government’s immunisation requirements or have an exemption
Responsibility for child care payments - To get CCS you must be the one responsible for your child care costs. If your employer contributes to your child care through salary sacrificing or packaging, you should discuss with them who is responsible for the child care costs
Other factors can affect your Childcare Subsidy, including:
Your child starting school
Changes in income
If you enter into a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer in which some or all of your child care fees are paid for you
One of your children no longer using care
You or your partner no longer meeting the Work, Training, Study test
Participation in work, training or study related commitments
What is the Activity test?
This test determines how many hours of CCS you can get.
ABSENCES FROM CHILDCARE
You will be charged for all days booked regardless of attendance including absences and Public Holidays. If the absences are your initial 42 absence days or an additional absence day, the Australian Government will still pay you CCS for approved child care.
What is an absence day?
You will get CCS for 42 absence days per child each financial year. These can be for any reason and will not require proof and include public holidays. You cannot claim absences if your child has not started care or has stopped care. You also cannot claim CCS for an absence if you have notified us that you are taking your child out of care on a set date and then change your mind and remove your child earlier. If you receive CCS as a fee reduction at another child care service you must let us know when your child has used your initial 42 absence days.
What is an additional absence day?
You can also get CCS for additional absence days once your initial 42 absence days have been used. There is no limit on these days but you may be required to provide documentation to support the absence.
The additional absence days reasons are:
Illness (with a medical certificate), or another absence due to sickness of the child, a parent or sibling, supported by medical certificates
Rostered days off
Rotating shift work
Temporary closure of a school or pupil-free days
Period of local emergency – the service is closed or the child is unable to travel to the service
Shared care arrangements due to a court order, parenting plan or parenting order attendance at preschool
What happens when we go on holidays?
Smart Reader Kids offers a holiday discount for up to two weeks of care per financial year. Please note that families need to provide written notification four weeks in advance to apply the holiday discount (40 per cent discount on the full fee). Under exceptional circumstances, holiday discount may be applied outside these requirements at the discretion of the Centre Director. Fee payments need to be up-to-date to receive the holiday discount.
To find out more call the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305 or visit www.mychild.gov.au
PRIORITY OF ACCESS
We are required under the Family Assistance Law to comply with the Australian Government’s ‘Priority of Access Guidelines’. The guidelines must be used when there is a waiting list for a child care service or when a number of parents are applying for a limited number of vacant places.
Priority 1) A child at risk of serious abuse or neglect.
Priority 2) A child of a parent (or both parents if you have a partner) who satisfies the Government’s work, training, study test.
Priority 3) Any other child.
Under the Priority of Access Guidelines, we may require a Priority 3 child to vacate a place to make room for a child with a higher priority. If this is required, we will provide you with at least 14 days’ notice and where possible, allocate alternative days care.