Conditions for waiving Parent GAP

DESE has announced that services have the option to waive the gap (difference between Fee charged and CCS paid) for children under the following conditions:

  • the service is in an area under Stage 3 or higher lockdowns
  • the child is absent due to covid 19
  • an absence is recorded

Read the (very limited) details of the rules here

Auto Gap Fee Wavers for an entire attendance

To help you manage this process, SmartCentral has introduced additional options on the attendance screens to automate the waiving of the parent GAP, but it can only be for the entire week.

See the Staff Help on how to automate the waiving of the Parent GAP here.

The above help is for waiving the Parent GAP for the entire week, when every session has been marked absent. Please not: if waiving the whole gap for the week, for those families who use up their CCS eligible hours in the beginning of the CCS fortnight, you may be waiving the full or most of the session charge when using this option, if they have run out of eligible hours.

See below on how to waive the Parent GAP for those sessions marked absent, in an attendance that also has attended sessions.

Marking the Rolls

Regardless of which method you use, either to waive the parent’s gap in full or partially waive it, the rolls are marked as normal. Signed in/out if attending, marked absent if absent for the day.

Booked Absences

Regardless of which method you use, either to waive the parent’s gap in full or partially waive it, you can set an enrolment’s booking, to auto mark the roll with “Hrs absence”, if you know in advance a family will be absent due to COVID related reasons.

You can also add an additional reason if a family may be in danger of running out of their 42 (or in VIC’s case 72 allowed absences where no additional reason is required).

Go to the family’s enrolments and click on the Bookings TAB.

Set the day, or the date range to cover the period the family has told you they will be absent. All bookings willbe marked absent on the roll within the date range.

Eg If the booking is for Tue, Wed, Thurs and the date range covers 6 weeks, then every Tue, wed, thurs within those 6 weeks will be marked absent.

Add an additional reason if required & tick the supporting documentation box if you have the documentation to back the additional reason selected.

Bookings TAB

Adding An Absent Booking

Direct Debit - Stage 3 Lockdown Areas.

Ignore this bit if you do not Direct Debit Fees

For those parents, you are waiving the entire week’s Parent Gap, we suggest you untick the DD box to ensure they do not accidentally get billed.

For those families you are partially waiving the Parent fee for, you need to make sure you have manually refunded the partial GAP, prior to invoicing the parent or Direct Debiting their balance.

Projecting Fees - Stage 3 Lockdown Areas.

Ignore this bit if you do not project fees.

Projecting Fees are based on an enrolment’s bookings and absent bookings are still counted as a charge.

If you are waiving the parent GAP partially or for the entire week, then we recommend you DO NOT project fees for the families you know in advance will be absent due to COVID reasons.

One way you can do that is not to project fees for any families during this time.

Another way is to use the parent TAG (the DD TAB, filter field) to group families into those to pay projected fees and those to not pay fees in advance (as they will eventually be waived).

Eg. If all active families are grouped with a Parent Tag (eg. Active) then you can change the filter for those families, you know in advance, are going to be absent for the projected weeks to a “COVID19” filter. Your exited families will be tagged for eg. InActive or Exited.

You then run the projected fees, for Active group of families only, using the parent TAG you gave them. (eg Active)

In this way you will only project fees for those attending and not for the absent “COVID19” group of families.

COVID 19 Misc Fees

Set up a new Misc Fee Code so you can keep track of any manually waived fees.

Weekly Attendance Screen

COVID 19 Misc Fee Code

How to Manually Waive a portion of the Parent GAP

You can only waive the fees if you are in one of the locked down postcodes/areas, and only if they are absent for COVID reasons. For those families who may attend some sessions and may be absent for others, then you cannot waive the fees for those attended (eg rostered to work in the office 2 days a week, and from home the rest of the week)

Part weeks will need to be waived manually, using a negative Miscellaneous Fee charge to refund the GAP. See above section on creating a Misc Fee Code to use.

When the relevant weekly attendance is submitted, the full charge will be placed on the parent’s transaction TAB. When the CCS is returned the CCS paid for the week will be known. You will need to wait for the CCS to be paid and then work out your partial parent GAP to waive.

** You need to work out the portion to be waived, prior to running the invoices for the relevant week, and prior to DD runs as they will still be paying a portion of the GAP.

The following example is worked out on a family who is getting the same amount of CCS paid per session. Eg. Their booking is for 4 days, they are eligible for 100hrs a fortnight and that more than covers the attended and absent sessions.

Family A: Is booking for 4 days a week normally, but in advance has elected to keep their child home 2 days a week for COVID related reasons.

So their child attends 2 days a week, and is absent for COVID related reasons for the other 2 days

Full LDC charges for the week are $400. CCS Paid was $360. parent GAP for 4 days is $40.

$40 divided by 4 sessions = $10 per session Parent GAP. Family was only absent for 2 sessions, so GAP to be waived is $10 x 2 = $20

Create a Misc Fee Charge “CV19” for -20 on the parent’s Transaction TAB.

The screenshot example below is refunding $46, in the case above you would only refund $20.

Weekly Attendance Screen

Weekly Attendance Screen

For those families who may not be eligible for CCS for all sessions in a fortnight, then it will be a little more complex to work out the portion of parent GAP to be refunded. Some days in the fortnight may be full charge, as they are no longer eligible for CCS, and you may not want to waive the entire day.

For other families their % may be low and it is a big GAP to waive, it may not be affordable to waive the whole GAP.

And there may be other complex examples.

We suggest for these complex cases, you work out what your policy will be, advise the parent as they may want to change their booking during these unsettled times, and then ask in support chat if you need help working out the partial amount you wish to waive.

To work out the parent GAP per indic=vidual day, go to the child’s enrolment -> Session subsidy TAB. Put in the relevant week ending and the fortnight that week is a part of will display. This is mostly live CCS data. Some of the totals down the bottom come from SC.

The top portion is the attendances in the fortnight. The subsidies paid is below.

You can find the CCS paid per session and using the session charge work out the GAP per individual day, when the eligible hours means the CCS paid per session is different (as the hours have been used up).

** See below to warn your parents about extended absences.**

Important Warning: Enrolments that cease “no attendances”

July 13th 2020 - absences were reset to 0 (would prior to free childcare been reset July 6th)

July 13th 2020 - a session was added for July 12th to all enrolments to prevent the 14 week ceased no attendances from happening

That means the 14 weeks for checking if a child has attended or not, recommenced July 13th 2020.

Note: The CCS will be retrieved post 14 weeks no attendances (ie if absent for 14 weeks).

Reasons for absences.

Any child can do this, however only stage 3 lockdown areas can waive the Parent GAP

Can use 42 absences starting July 13th - no reason needed Post 42 absences can use additional reason (reasoning if GAP to be waived would be COVID19 related) Vic allowable absences have been extended to 72.

Child is absent for 14 weeks in a stage 3 area

If absent for 14 weeks for any reason the following will happen is the same regardless if in a stage 3 area or not.

If lockdown extends past the 6 weeks and a parent (for COVID related reasons) extends absences and the number of weeks, with no attended sessions, totals 14 - the enrolment will be ceased by CCS (no attendance) and CCS will be retrieved. So at that point of time, even though the service has been waiving the GAP for 14 weeks, for COVID related reasons, the CCS for the entire 14 weeks will be owed by the parent if the enrolment ceases no attendances.

Note: 14 weeks will be very near end of transition period, this is how it stands today 17th Aug 2020, no talk to date of that changing. But with everything COVID 19 related, anything can happen.