Early childhood education and care providers must comply with the rules under Family Assistance Law. We regularly check providers are following the law and take compliance action when they’re not.
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If you receive the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), you must ensure you, your services, relevant staff and educators comply with their obligations under Family Assistance Law.
We may take compliance action if you fail to meet your obligations. Compliance action could include:
- putting conditions on your approval
- issuing an infringement
- suspending or cancelling your approval.
The actions we take will depend on:
- the severity of the non-compliance
- your past behaviour or compliance history
- your response to any earlier non-compliance action
- overall trends of non-compliance in the sector.
Find information and resources below to help you do the right thing.
Family Assistance Law
Family Assistance Law sets the rules for administering CCS. Providers must be familiar with and comply with the law.
Child Care Provider Handbook
The Child Care Provider Handbook outlines the legal requirements and responsibilities of running a child care service.
Watch a series of short videos on key compliance topics to ensure you’re doing the right thing.
Persons with management or control
Providers have specific legal obligations. These obligations are completed by certain people. We call these people ‘persons with management or control of the provider’. They are also called ‘persons with management or control’ or simply ‘PMC’.
Providers must identify their PMCs to us – it’s the law. PMCs must:
- be included in applications for provider approval
- notify the department when they join or leave an approved provider or service
- be fit and proper
- be registered in PRODA and linked to the provider
- provide correct and up to date contact information in the Child Care Subsidy System
- complete specific tasks.
If PMCs don’t do these things, the provider may:
- not be approved to run a child care service
- lose approval to run a child care service
- receive an infringement.
PMCs must identify persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of a service. If the provider requires it they may also identify service contacts.
Fit and proper requirements
Certain people at a service must be considered by us to be fit and proper’ to handle public money.
Certain people at a service must have background checks. Providers must have evidence of these checks.
We issue infringements to providers who do not comply with their obligations under Family Assistant Law. An infringement is a fine, much like a parking ticket.
Help us keep the system fair
Send a tip-off
If you think a child care service is doing something illegal or fraudulent or is trying to get an unfair advantage, you can tell us anonymously.
Illegal activities include:
- not complying with reporting and administration obligations
- not providing appropriate staff or conditions
- operating without proper registration, including the type of service provided.
Section 158 notice
A section 158 notice is a legal document requiring you to provide us with information.
You may get a section 158 notice if we think you have information, documents or records that will help us administer Family Assistance Law.
Information sharing and data matching
Most providers do the right thing. There are a few who exploit government programs by claiming payments they aren’t entitled to.
We work with other agencies, like the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and law enforcement, to deal with suspected:
- criminal activities.
When we collaborate with these agencies we:
- exchange data
- share intelligence and information
- engage in joint activities
- share referrals, tip-offs and compliance outcomes.
We also participate in the ATO’s Government Payments Program. The program ensures service providers getting government payments are meeting their tax and superannuation obligations.
Compliance pilot project
We are stepping up our efforts to detect and prevent child care fraud. Throughout 2022, we are partnering with authorities in NSW and Victoria on a compliance pilot project.
Child Care Enforcement Action Register
The Child Care Enforcement Action Register lists services that have been penalised for breaking the law.