How many child care places can be offered?
Providers must work within any limits on the number of services, places or educators that are imposed as part of its approval by its state or territory authority. Additionally, limits on child care places are currently applied to In Home Care (see the In Home Care National Guidelines and In Home Care Handbook) through a legislative instrument.
The Australian Government collects information about child care vacancies and makes it available to families on the Child Care Finder website at www.childcarefinder.gov.au (see What notice needs to be given?).
Providers are required to update their vacancy and fee information, either through their child care software or in the PEP, each week. Services that have updated all their details get priority placement in the search result rankings within Child Care Finder.
Do vacancies need to be prioritised?
There are no requirements for filling vacancies. Providers can set their own rules for deciding who receives a place.
Providers are asked to (but are not legally obliged to) prioritise children who are:
- at risk of serious abuse or neglect
- a child of a sole parent who satisfies, or parents who both satisfy, the activity test through paid employment.
This meets the Australian Government’s aims of helping families who are most in need and supporting the safety and wellbeing of children at risk.