What Providers Need to Know The new Childcare Subsidy
What the new CCS means for ChildCare Services and Providers.
From July 2, 2018, a new childcare package will be in place across Australia. There will be several major changes to child care operations, including a new Child Care Subsidy and the introduction of a new Child Care IT System. To help child care providers prepare for the change, we’ve put together a 6-part series to guide you through the transition. The Child Care Subsidy will replace the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate as part of Australia’s new Child Care Package. From July 2, 2018, all eligible Australian child care services will operate under this new package, which includes the Child Care Subsidy and a new Child Care IT System (CCITS). The Child Care Subsidy is a single, means-tested subsidy that will be paid directly to service providers. It aims to streamline and simplify the current multi-payment system while providing more assistance to low and middle-income families. As a result, there will be changes to some of the business operation processes and industry terminology child care providers are familiar with. And that transition has already commenced.
The Child Care Subsidy Transition
1. CCMS to CCITS Migration
By now you should have received a letter from the Department of Education and Training asking you to check and update your CCMS details. If you did not receive this letter, you should contact the department on 1300 667 276 and ask for a copy to be re-sent to you.
2. Register child care personnel
Under the new package, there will be changes to the titles of child care personnel roles.
- Key Personnel will become ‘Persons with Management or Control of the Provider’.
- Authorised Persons will become ‘Persons Responsible for the Day to Day Operation of the Service’.
- There will be no changes to the titles of Family Day Care Educators, or Service Contacts, who are personnel who may discuss entitlements, enrolments, and attendances with the department.
Everyone with a specified child care personnel role will need to individually register for the new CCITS using PRODA (Provider Digital Access).
The PRODA registration process will require proof of identity in order to create an account and receive a Registration Authority (RA) number. This number will be needed throughout the transition process. Each Provider will also need to create their Organisation in PRODA, and each staff member’s PRODA ID, or RA, will need to be linked to their corresponding organisation.
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4. Changes to operational requirements
Under the new packages, child care services will have greater flexibility to choose the hours per day, and days per week, they operate. The aim is to improve child care accessibility by basing child care service operations on the needs of the local community. Centre-based Care services will be required to operate for a minimum of 48 weeks per year. Occasional Care services, which transition to become Centre-based Care services, will have different operating requirements according to the conditions of their approval. Outside School, Hours Care services will be required to operate for a minimum of 7 weeks per year. Learn more about the new Service Types and Operational Requirements in the Child Care Subsidy Service Type Fact Sheet and by watching this short video about changes to Service Types and Operating Requirements. Set up your Third Party Child Care Software (early 2018)Once providers have received their new CCS approval number, they can work with their third-party child care software provider to ensure their software interface is set up and ready for the new Child Care Subsidy and CCITS. If you don’t have a third party child care software provider, or you’re looking to switch, Xplor provides a comprehensive solution that offers automation, organisation, administration, and communication, benefiting every level of child care from enterprise and service providers, to educators and families. Software providers like Xplor will work with child care operators to advise of changes to software and administration processes regarding PRODA and CCITS. We can tell you now, the Government remittance interface will remain similar to the existing platform, however, I.S activity will not be included as it is not managed by the DHS. Debts will be recovered via withholding payments or offsets, where it can be reasonably expected to be repaid entirely by the liable party within 28 days. We also believe the Government messaging interface will be used more actively than it has previously. Software providers like Xplor will integrate this information into their software interface to keep child care providers informed.
5. Enrolments (from April 2018)
The last stage of the Child Care Subsidy Transition will be to create new enrolments for each child who will be in care from July 2, 2018. New enrolments are required because of legislative changes to calculating child care subsidy payments. Childcare software providers like Xplor have been working closely with the Department to streamline the enrolment process and will be able to assist you with this activity. Enrolment Arrangement Types will be categorised as Compliant Written Agreements (CWA), for eligible families wishing to claim the Child Care Subsidy either now or in the future, and Relevant Arrangements (RA) for families who are not eligible or never wish to claim the Child Care Subsidy. Child Care Providers need to be cautious about the enrolment type they select for each child because the Relevant Arrangement enrolment category can never receive the Child Care Subsidy. The Compliant Written Agreement will be similar to the current ‘Informal’ enrolment and can be amended to change Child Care Subsidy status at any time. CWAs need to be approved by families via the MyGov website before they are activated, however, this process will be waived for existing enrolments in the first six months of the CCITS. We are still awaiting detailed explanations regarding augmenting old enrolments, strategies for managing expiring vacation care enrolments and session types. Under the new system, Session Reports must be submitted within 14 days, and can only be amended up to 21 days from the end of the reporting week. We will be able to provide advice soon on how current entitlements will impact past resubmissions. Stay tuned for this and more updates in the next installments of Xplor’s 6-part series on the New Child Care Package.
Helpful resources for Child Care Service Providers