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Specified personnel

Who are specified personnel?

People managing or employed in child care in roles regarding the approval and operation of a service are permitted to undertake related actions through the Child Care Subsidy System, as set out in Table 3. They therefore need to be identified in either:

  • the application for provider approval
  • later notifications to the Department of Education, if not employed or engaged at the time of approval (see What notice needs to be given?).
Table 3: The roles of people employed in or managing child care and the actions they are each allowed regarding the Child Care Subsidy System

Role

Allowed actions in relation to the Child Care Subsidy System

Persons with management or control of the provider

The following people are persons with management or control of the provider:

  • a member of the group of persons responsible for the executive decision of the provider
  • a person who has authority or responsibility for, or significant influence over, planning, directing or controlling the activities of the provider
  • a person who is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the provider (whether or not the person is employed by the provider)
  • a person who is responsible for the day-to-day operation of a child care service, for which the provider is approved or seeking approval (whether or not the person is employed by the provider).

In other words, these are people who participate directly or indirectly in the decision-making or management of the provider (the legal entity) that operates the child care service.

Depending on the structure of the organisation and involvement of the individual, this may include the executive officers, board members, officers of the body corporate, the partners or a member of the organisation's governing body and persons in management positions.

These people may (subject to their authority and capacity to do so within the provider's organisation):

  • change bank account details and other information regarding the child care service
  • add and remove other persons, such as persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service, from the Child Care Subsidy System
  • authorise data submission transactions to the Child Care Subsidy System
  • notify the Department of Education of the cessation of operations
  • apply to add or remove a service.

Person or persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service

These are persons nominated by a person with management or control of the provider to be responsible for day-to-day operation of the service.

When nominated to do so by the persons with management or control of the provider, they may:

  • add and remove persons responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service and service contacts
  • authorise data submission transactions to the Child Care Subsidy System
  • notify the Department of Education of changes regarding the service for which they are responsible, excluding bank account details and cessation of operations.

Service contacts

These are people nominated by the persons with management and control of the provider or responsible for day-to-day operation of the service who are authorised to discuss family entitlements and transaction processing results with the Department of Education.

They can notify the Department of Education of non-financial contact details, including

addresses and phone numbers, but they cannot notify the department about any other changes to information about a service.

Family Day Care educators

These are people contracted, engaged or employed by a Family Day Care provider to provide care for children and record attendance information.

Family Day Care educators are specified personnel, but they do not interact directly with the Child Care Subsidy System (in their capacity as a Family Day Care educator).

In Home Care educators

These are people contracted, engaged or employed by an In Home Care provider to provide care for children and record attendance information.

In Home Care educators are specified personnel, but they do not interact directly with the Child Care Subsidy System (in their capacity as an In Home Care educator).

Who needs to be a fit and proper person?

The following people (or entities) are required to be fit and proper persons to be involved in the receiving and passing on of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy:

  • the provider itself
  • any person with management of control of the provider
  • any person responsible for the day-to-day operation of a child care service.

In practice, this encompasses (but is not limited to) a child care provider's directors, managers and staff (and board members where applicable), staff with management or control and people responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service.

Whether or not a person is a fit and proper person is determined based on Family Assistance Law, which sets out the matters that must be considered in making this determination. (see What matters should be considered?).

Staff not identified in these specified personnel roles but who deliver care to or interact with children at the service must be suitable to do so. However, their suitability relates not to the administration of payments but to the safety of children and the quality of care provided (as this is what their role is about). As such, their suitability requirements are governed by the child care licensing laws and regulations of the state regulatory body in the state or territory in which the service is located. Information about these requirements can be obtained directly from state and territory regulatory authorities.

What matters should be considered?

When determining whether a person is a fit and proper person to be involved in the administration of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, matters involving fraud, dishonesty, financial management, compliance with the law and administration of funds are all relevant considerations. Matters considered in determining whether someone is a fit and proper person include:

  • evidence of activity that does not comply with criminal or civil law, including (but not limited to) activity related to children or indicating dishonesty or violence
  • court proceedings and convictions or findings of guilt, including (but not limited to) activity related to children or indicating dishonesty or violence
  • any past administrative decisions relating to a person's suitability to be involved in child care
  • evidence of fraud or dishonesty
  • the person's history of managing public funds; and any past or current debts to the Commonwealth
  • the person's record of financial management, including any instances of bankruptcy, insolvency or external administration
  • any potential conflicts of interest between managing or delivering the child care service and other business or financial interests of the person
  • any other matter relevant to the suitability of the provider and their staff.

Specified personnel must be fit and proper persons, regardless of whether they are required to use the Child Care Subsidy System.

What background checks are required?

Under Family Assistance Law, providers are required to undertake certain background checks of:

  • each person who has management or control of the provider
  • each person who has responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the service
  • Family Day Care educators (if any)
  • In Home Care educators (if any).

The background checks for each specified person are set out in Table 4.

The provider must be able to provide a written record of these checks, including the evidence provided in support of the applications, at any time if requested.

In addition, providers are required to keep the department notified of certain circumstances, including for these persons—such as if the provider is aware of any event or circumstance that may indicate the person is not a fit and proper person (see What notice needs to be given?).

A police check must be no more than six months old, and other checks no more than three months old, at the time of the application or the engagement of additional specified persons by the provider. However, new checks are not required every three or six months.

Working with children cards (where required) must always be kept current. Expired cards are unacceptable.

Table 4: The roles of people employed in or managing child care and the checks required to determine they are fit and proper persons

Checks required

A person with management or control of the provider

A person with responsibility for day- to-day operation of the service

A Family Day Care or In Home Care educator

A National Police Certificate from the state or territory police service (or an agency accredited by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission) no more than six months before the date of the application.

A working with children card (if required to hold one).

A National Personal Insolvency Index check performed using the Bankruptcy Register Search service provided by the Australian Financial Security Authority.

   

Evidence that the person does not appear on the banned and disqualified register held by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

   

A current and historical personal name extract search of the records of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.