On 11 September the Minister for Education and Training announced changes to the Compliance Framework through the Family Assistance Law.
The Department of Education and Training has a broad ranging Child Care Payments Compliance Program to encourage, enforce and strengthen compliance in the child care sector to ensure public funds are spent properly and accountably. The Child Care Compliance Program seeks to:
- protect the integrity of child care fee assistance payments made by the Australian Government to support families accessing quality child care in approved child care services
- promote behaviour by approved child care services which is compliant with the Family Assistance Law.
The program aligns with aims and principles of the Child Care and Early Learning Compliance Framework which focuses on establishing and maintaining a consistent approach to compliance activities for approved child care services across the child care and early learning sector, given the substantial amounts of money being paid to approved child care services.
As a condition of ongoing eligibility, all approved child care services must comply with the legislation and legislative instruments that form the Family Assistance Law. For more information on the Family Assistance Law refer to the Family Assistance Law.
While the department recognises that the majority of child care services are complying with the Family Assistance Law, there is a concerning increase in the number of potentially non-compliant practices. Non-compliant activities can include services reporting care for a child that is not actually being provided and also reporting incorrect child care fees. In some cases, families are unaware that child care fee assistance is being falsely claimed on their behalf through approved child care services. As a result, some families may be receiving Child Care Rebate payments to which they are not entitled, potentially exposing them to repaying debts.
The department takes compliance with the Family Assistance Law seriously and encourages anyone who is aware of practices that could be incorrect, illegal or non-compliant to contact the department on 1800 664 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The department also works closely with other agencies including the Australian Federal Police, Australian Tax Office, the Department of Human Services, and state and territory regulatory authorities to ensure services are correctly applying the rules under all relevant laws.
Media enquiries should be directed to email@example.com
All media enquiries will be handled in line with the department's media policy.
For the latest media releases in relation to child care compliance, refer to the department's Media Centre.