Its a brave new world of universal free childcare !!!!

LAST UPDATED : 20th April 2020 12:15 PM AEST - Added information on Supplementary Payments

Question: From 6/4/20 until 28/6/20 we as a Centre have no choice but to go with the new ECE Care Relief Payment and not submit care to access CCS and not collect any gap fee from families?  Will we only receive the 50% weekly payment from now on after this current week ending 5/4/20 CCS has been paid to Centre? Until now we were still running as normal.

So how do we keep the doors open ?

Basically you are right, the ECE will more or less cover the normal CCS you would have received and now you cant collect the gap from the parents, however there are options.

  • You will receive CCS as normal for any attenances submitted on or before the 5th April whether you refund the gap or not
  • From the 6th April onwards you will receive the ECE
  • The last fortnight of ECEC from Jun was pre-paid to assist transition
  • You can apply for a supplementary payment if you have exceptional circumstances

The last CCS payment and the first ECE payment landed in the first week of the ECEC period. Additionally the payment for the period 15th June to 28th June has been pre-paid on the 9th April.

The government is expecting centres to also sign up for ‘Job Keeper’ and hoping that as a result it will plug some / all of the gap. ‘Job Keeper’ has been extended to a wider range of providers.

If you haven’t already done so do register at your earliest opportunity

Job keeper does cover long term casual & part time as well as full time.  

And there is also the PAYG relief announced earlier.

ECEC Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payment

If your centre is experiencing exception circumstances you can apply for suplementary payments.

Details about the package can be downloaded from the Departments website.

You can apply via an online form.

Supplementary Payments common mistakes

What tips are there for completing the Exceptional Circumstance Supplementary Payment application?

Within the first four weeks of operation of the Relief Package, services can only be assessed as eligible for a supplementary payment once. After the first four weeks, arrangements will be reviewed and any changes will be communicated to providers. Where a service’s application is rejected due to inaccurate or incomplete information the service can reapply within the four weeks. Services are encouraged to read the supporting information and the examples provided at relevant questions when completing an application.

If your application is inaccurate or incomplete it will be rejected and you will need to reapply to be considered for a supplementary relief payment. Common reasons for rejection include:

Invalid applications

Where there are errors in critical identification or registration details the department is unable to process the application. Invalid applications will be rejected and services will need to reapply to be considered for a supplementary payment.

Common errors include:

  • Provider Customer Reference Number (CRN) and Service CRN used are the same, are not linked OR are entered incorrectly.
  • PRODA ID used does not belong to the person completing the application OR has been entered incorrectly. The PRODA ID must be the ID of the person with management and control who is completing the application.
  • Business or service registration IDs used have not been able to be verified.
Insufficient evidence

Applications that do not include enough evidence to support the claim will not be approved and services will need to reapply to be considered for a supplementary payment.

Common errors include:

  • Not attaching evidence;
  • Evidence that is not linked to attendance
  • Evidence that is not linked to hours of care provided in current period
  • Evidence is about future demand not current hours of care; or claims for more children attending than are currently enrolled at a service.

All services must continue to record attendance for the children in their care. If a service is doing this through their third party software, the reports from this software can be used as evidence. This would show the enrolment IDs, attended hours and session hours.

When preparing supporting documents, personal information including names and dates of birth must be redacted. Multiple attachments can be provided in a zip file.

Incorrect information

Where a service finds they have made a mistake on an application after it has been submitted, this cannot be corrected without submitting a new application. Corrections lodged via email cannot be considered.

Common errors include:

  • Current number of children entered as a fortnightly figure rather than weekly.
  • Current number of children taken from enrolment numbers not attendances.
  • Current hours of care reflected as weekly figures rather than fortnightly.
  • Current hours of care reflected as the difference between previous and current hours rather than total new hours of care.

Final Thoughts

Its a rat’s nest but between these they are hoping that will get you through.

The final option would be to opt out of CCS for the duration , receive no CCS or ECE and then be free to charge parents as you wish. Apparently that’s a thing. I’m not recommending this one just adding it in reluctantly for completeness.

There really are a lot of details missing but this is happening from 6th April 2020.

Yikes !!