Child care infringements

We can issue infringements, or fines, to providers that don’t follow the rules under Family Assistance Law.

On this page:

What is an infringement?

Providers must follow the rules under Family Assistance Law to receive Child Care Subsidy. Infringements encourage compliance for providers that don't comply.

An infringement is a fine, much like a parking ticket.

Family Assistance Law sets the rules for administering the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy.

These rules help ensure the Australian Government’s investment in the sector is used appropriately.

Providers must make sure that they, their employees and educators follow the rules. We may issue an infringement to providers that don't follow the rules.

Most providers comply with the law and do the right thing. However, where certain rules are not being followed, we can use infringements to help change provider behaviour.

Infringements help providers avoid more severe penalties. They allow a provider to pay a small fine rather than go to court, where they may get a much larger penalty.

Infringements during times of emergency

To receive Child Care Subsidy, providers have a range of administrative and reporting obligations. Good business administration and reporting is essential to recovering from an emergency or crisis.

However, we won’t send infringement to providers experiencing a period of emergency.

Find out more about emergencies.

What does an infringement look like?

The infringement will be on official departmental letterhead containing the department’s logo and Commonwealth crest. It will include the:

  • name of the provider
  • reasons for the infringement
  • financial penalty amount and due date
  • payment options
  • process to request a review of the infringement or to request an extension of time to pay
  • action we will take if the provider does not pay the penalty amount.

We send infringements by email and post. Emails will come from CCInfringements@dese.gov.au. Please add this address to your safe list and check your mail often.

What can an infringement be issued for?

Child care providers must report their fees as a requirement under Family Assistance Law. If they don't report their fees, they may get an infringement.

There are many Family Assistance Law obligations that contain a civil penalty offence for which we can issue an infringement. Some examples include:

  • not correctly reporting your fee information
  • not submitting enrolment notices or session reports on time
  • not passing on or remitting a fee reduction amount
  • failure to meet reporting notification requirements
  • failure to keep records.

See the full list of Family Assistance Law civil penalty provisions that apply.

Why should I keep my contact details up to date?

It is important to keep your contact details up to date in the Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS).

If your contact details are not up to date, you may miss important information about your obligations. You may also miss receiving an infringement notice. 

In particular, you must ensure email and postal addresses are correct for the provider and all persons with management and control (PMCs).

It is your responsibility to ensure PMC and provider contacts are updated. Failure to do so can result in an infringement notice.

How much is the penalty?

The penalty amount in each infringement will vary depending on:

  • the alleged contravention
  • the number of times a contravention has occurred
  • whether the provider is a body corporate or an individual.

How long do I have to pay?

You must pay the fine within 28 days after the infringement is given.

We can issue an infringement within 12 months of the contravention.

How do I pay an infringement?

The infringement will provide payment options and instructions. You can pay by electronic funds transfer, cheque or money order.

What happens if I do not pay my infringement?

If you do not pay the full penalty amount, we will take further action. This may include further regulatory action such as:

  • issuing more infringements
  • cancelling or suspending your approval to receive Child Care Subsidy
  • taking the matter to court.

If the matter is dealt with in a court, the court may impose a much larger penalty than the amount in the infringement.

What if I need more time to pay?

You can request an extension of time to pay an infringement.

The request must be made in writing. It should be made at least 2 weeks before the infringement due date.

What if I do not agree with the infringement?

You may request the withdrawal of an infringement.

The request must be made in writing. It should be made at least 2 weeks before the infringement due date.

We will assess your request and advise you of our decision.

If we withdraw the infringement, it is taken to have never been issued.

If we do not withdraw the infringement, the due date for the penalty stays the same.

If new information or evidence shows the contravention did not occur, we may withdraw the infringement.

How do I request an extension or withdrawal of an infringement?

Email your request to CCInfringements@dese.gov.au and include:

  • the infringement number
  • the person to whom the infringement was given
  • your reasons for requesting the extension of time to pay or withdrawal of the infringement
  • any documentation that supports your request.

More information

If you need more information or help send an email to the Child Care Compliance Operations Team.

If you would like to share information about infringements with your networks, see the content kit.