Family Day Care Matters 19/12/2018

Family Day Care Australia office closure

The Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) office will close on Monday 24 December 2018 and will re-open at 8.00am (AEDT) Wednesday 2 January 2019. If your family day care insurance renewal is due during the office closure period   you can renew your insurance online via our website. If you need to make an emergency claim, details of this are also located on our website.

From all of us at FDCA we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. Best wishes for the holiday season and we hope 2019 is filled with health, happiness and success.

 

Be You joins National Engagement Program line up

FDCA is excited to announce that the 2019 NEP will include a professional learning session delivered by Be You. Be You is a national framework to empower every educator and learning community to foster the mental health of those in their care, as well as their own wellbeing.

Be You is an online initiative – backed by trained and supported staff – that provides early learning services and schools with a roadmap, building blocks, professional development and support to foster a mentally healthy learning community. It is designed with, and for, busy educators.

This means that attendees will be able to access free professional development from ACECQA, BE You and FDCA as well as being treated to a free networking lunch. Places are limited for each forum, so be sure to register quickly to secure your spot.

Don't miss your spot!

Places at the 2019 National Engagement Program (NEP) are being rapidly snapped up! We are excited to announce that due to overwhelming demand for tickets to the Brisbane National Engagement Program, we have added an extra 20 seats. This is the maximum capacity that we will be able to hold, so if you have not got your ticket yet, we recommend booking soon! A wait-list will also be available for any tickets that become available due to cancellation.

Also, with the Adelaide forums now less than two months away and the Melbourne forums less than three months out, we recommend booking now to secure your spot before it is too late.

Free to FDCA members, the NEP is an opportunity for educators and coordination unit staff to receive professional development, network with other family day care professionals and engage directly with representatives from FDCA.

Click here to find out more about the 2019 NEP forums and to secure your spot.

 

Calling for Expressions of Interest: Advisory Committee for the Financial Capability in Family Day Care initiative

Do you have relevant skills, experience and time to participate in an FDCA advisory committee to support development of a professional learning resource for educators?

One of FDCA’s key initiatives for 2018-19 is to develop a professional learning resource to build the financial capability of FDCA educator members, thereby enhancing their knowledge and confidence in financial decision-making and capability in managing a small business run from home.

Under the FDCA Constitution there is provision for the appointment of time-limited Advisory Committees to assist FDCA to achieve its objectives by providing expert advice and recommendations on such subjects that FDCA may specify.

A Project Advisory Committee (PAC) has been established to support the planning and implementation of the Financial Capability in Family Day Care initiative. The initiative relates to FDCA’s core objectives to support members’ ongoing improvement in pedagogical and operational practice through research, resources, professional learning opportunities and professional networks.

The Financial Capability in Family Day Care PAC will provide a valuable means to gain sector input to guide the development of the initiative and will help ensure the developed resource meets the needs of educators.

The Terms of Reference for the Financial Capability in Family Day Care PAC can be viewed here.

Please read the Terms of Reference carefully and if you believe you have the skills, experience and capacity to contribute, register your interest here by Wednesday 9 January 2019. The final decision about the Financial Capability in Family Day Care PAC membership will be confirmed by FDCA by Wednesday 16 January 2019.

 

Important messages from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training:

1. Launch of Child Care Finder

The Australian Government’s new Child Care Finder website is now available to the public.

The new website, which has replaced MyChild, is a one-stop-shop providing families with everything they need to know when choosing a child care service.

Child Care Finder contains the following details on approved child care services in Australia:

  • Fees
  • Vacancies
  • Operating hours
  • Contact details

In the coming months, Child Care Finder will also be able to alert families when a suitable child care vacancy becomes available at a service they are interested in.

What do I need to do?

Most services have already updated their details in the Child Care Subsidy System. Services who have updated all their details get priority placement in the search result rankings on Child Care Finder. If you have not yet updated your details, you can submit or update the required information through your third party software or the Provider Entry Point (PEP).

If you require assistance to submit or update the above information in the PEP, please refer to the task card on the department’s website. If you require assistance to submit or update information in a third party software program, please contact your software provider.

Important note

Under the Family Assistance Law, you must provide fee information, anticipated vacancies and operating hours. Ensuring your details are up to date will help you comply with the law. Financial penalties may apply if reporting obligations are not met.
 

2. Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Helpdesk Christmas Shutdown

The CCS Helpdesk will close from 12.30 pm (AEDT) on Monday 24 December 2018 and will reopen at 9.00 am (AEDT) on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

The CCS Helpdesk has prepared a fact sheet in relation to the 2018-19 Christmas period.

The fact sheet contains information on:

  • Public holidays and Christmas shutdown
  • Session submission and payment processing dates
  • Reporting attendance and service closure, and
  • Reporting absence days.


3. Important information about enrolments

Enrolment notices include important details about the child, parent, provider, and the care arrangement. These details are used (along with information provided in parents claims and subsequent session reports) to work out whether parents are eligible for Child Care Subsidy, so it’s important that you provide the right information at the right time.

The information on the department’s FAQs page answers the most common queries received about enrolments.


4. ACCS (child wellbeing) assists children at risk

ACCS (child wellbeing) provides a higher rate of assistance than the Child Care Subsidy to ensure the cost of child care is not a barrier to supporting children ‘at risk’.

A provider is generally able to give a certificate for up to six weeks if they consider a child is ‘at risk’. If the provider thinks the child will continue to be at risk for longer than six weeks, they may make an application for a determination to the Department of Human Services.

The Department of Human Services may reject an application for determination if the evidence does not meet the evidence requirements as set out in the Guide to ACCS (child wellbeing).  It is  recommended that all services become familiar with the evidence requirements within the guide to ensure that determination applications are lodged with adequate supporting documents.

Some common reasons applications are rejected include:

  • an application does not meet the minimum amount of evidence required for DHS to determine whether a child remains at risk, and/or
  • the evidence supplied is older than the maximum 6 month age of evidence requirement.

More information on this can be found on the department’s FAQs page.

 

Reporting actual attendance times from 14 January 2019

Just a reminder to all services that from 14 January 2019 child care providers will be required to include children’s actual attendance times in families’ statements of entitlement and in session reports (except absences).

What services need to do

  1. If services are already providing children’s actual attendance times in families’ statements of entitlement and session reports using third party software or the Provider Entry Point (PEP), there is nothing more to do except continue to provide this information.
  2. If services are not currently providing children’s actual attendance times in families’ statements of entitlement and/or session reports, they need to commence doing this from 14 January 2019.
    • If services are unsure how to enter this information using their third party software, the Department suggests contacting the third party software provider in the first instance.
    • If services are using the PEP, a task card on how to input these details into session reports (slide 5) is available on the Department’s website.

Why it is important to report actual attendance times
From 14 January 2019, it will be a legal requirement for child care providers to include children’s actual attendance times in statements of entitlement to families and session reports to the Australian Government.

Reporting actual attendance times is intended to help parents understand the relationship between the fees they are charged, the amount of subsidy paid to their child care provider on their behalf, and their out of pocket expenses.

If you have any questions on this topic, please contact the CCS Helpdesk on at ccshelpdesk@education.gov.au or on 1300 667 276.

 

2019 FDCA Wall Planner now available

The 2019 FDCA Wall Planner is now available for download for free through the Marketing Resources Hub. The 2019 wall planner has important dates highlighted including school terms, public holidays and FDCA National Engagement Program dates. A large A1 sized version is available, as well as a smaller A4 monthly calendar style.

You can access your 2019 Wall Planner by clicking here.

 

Media Release: Time for change in Government rhetoric on rorters and fraudsters says Family Day Care Australia

On Monday FDCA put out a media release calling on the Australian government to reframe its approach and its language in its dealings with the family day care sector.

To read the full media release, click here.