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Statements of Entitlement

What is a Statement of Entitlement?

Once every fortnight, providers must provide a Statement of Entitlement to parents eligible for Child Care Subsidy for children enrolled in their service. This statement must include details of the sessions of care provided and the resulting fee reduction amounts. The provider will need to use information about entitlements and payments for each child received in their payment advice (through their child care software or the PEP) to prepare these statements.

Statement of Entitlement can only be issued for care already provided, as they must include details of the child's physical attendance (in/out time) at the service and actual fee reduction amounts. Statements of Entitlement cannot be issued in advance based on estimates.

Statement of Entitlement are issued to families to ensure that families have a clear understanding of the fees they have been charged, what those fees have been charged for and how their Child Care Subsidy has offset those charges.

What is required in a Statement of Entitlement?

A Statement of Entitlement must include the details summarised in Table 9 below.

Table 9: Categories and details of information required in a Statement of Entitlement

About

Details

The statement

  • Name of the individual to whom the statement is issued.
  • Name of the child to whom any sessions of care were provided.
  • Unique identifier (assigned by the department) to the enrolment of the child for care by the service.
  • Date of issue and start and end dates of the statement period.

The service

  • Name of the provider.
  • Any business name of the service registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
  • Australian Business Number (if any) of the provider and (if different) the Australian Business Number under which the service trades.
  • Unique identifier of service and the provider (assigned by the department).
  • For a Family Day Care or In Home Care provider
    • the name and unique identifier (assigned by the department) of each educator who provided care during the statement period
    • which sessions of care the educator provided.

Sessions of care

  • Daily and weekly totals of the number of hours of care provided during the statement period, including start and end times for each session of care.
  • Daily and weekly totals of the number of hours of the child's physical attendance during the statement period, including start and end times of the child's physical attendance.
  • For the statement period and cumulatively for the financial year until the date of issue of the statement—the sum of:
    • the number of days on which the service is taken to have provided a session of care to the child while the child was absent (up to 42 days in the financial year) (that is an initial absence day)
    • the number of days on which the service is taken to have provided a session of care to the child, beyond 42 cumulative days in the financial year and particular circumstances apply (that is an additional absence day).

Fees

  • Hourly session fee for each session of care provided by the service to the child in the statement period.
  • Daily and weekly totals of the amount of all fees charged by the provider for care provided during the statement period, including details about any discounting or refund applied in order to pass on fee reductions.

Fee reduction amounts

For the statement period:

  • the number of hours for which the fees were reduced (or for which the individual otherwise received the benefit of a fee reduction amount)
  • the total of the fee reduction amounts of which the provider was given notice by the department
  • a breakdown of the amounts of fee reduction for each session of care and whether it related to a payment of Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy.

Actual attendance times

Session reports are required to record actual attendance in and out times (except for absences).

Under Family Assistance Law, a person may commit an offence and is liable to a civil penalty if the provider does not give a Statement of Entitlement, which contains the required information, to the individual for the statement period, within the required time.

What visibility of payments do parents have?

In addition to the fortnightly Statement of Entitlement from providers, parents (eligible individuals) will have access to information through their Centrelink online account and will receive periodic notifications.

Parents can view their determination of entitlement (the outcome, decisions and calculations of entitlement) at any time using their Centrelink online account.

Parents will receive a notice of all determinations of entitlement during each quarter from Centrelink.

Information for families

Families can access a range of more detailed information about their entitlements to Child Care Subsidy at www.education.gov.au/ChildCarePackage.

Families can identify which payments they may be entitled to receive, including the Child Care Subsidy, through the online Payment and Service Finder at www.humanservices.gov.au/paymentfinder.

Can a Statement of Entitlement and invoice be combined?

An individual (or their partner) who is entitled to receive Child Care Subsidy is required to pay a co-contribution to the cost of child care. The subsidy entitlement is always a percentage of the actual fees for care provided, and the provider is obliged to both:

  • pass on the Child Care Subsidy amounts paid, as a fee reduction
  • ensure that the individual pays their co-contribution—the gap between the Child Care Subsidy paid and the actual fees charged.

This usually means the provider will invoice families for the agreed child care fees minus fee reduction amounts (the Child Care Subsidy payments it receives on the family's behalf). The Department of Human Services will have withheld 5 per cent of the payment of Child Care Subsidy (see Withholding of payments). Providers are required to pass the actual fee reduction amounts on to families within 14 days of receiving payment advice. If this does not occur, providers must return the fee reduction to the department (see What happens if the subsidy cannot be passed on to the family?).

When and how to invoice families is a business decision for each provider to determine. The Department of Education does not recommend invoicing families using estimates of fee reduction (before Child Care Subsidy has been paid). This is because the actual amount of Child Care Subsidy paid (if any) may vary for a range of reasons that providers will not always be aware of, and therefore will not be able to account for, in any such estimate. Providers may instead consider either:

  • invoicing families for full fees for care in advance for the first period of care, with fee reductions applied to subsequent invoices
  • issuing families with a joint Statement of Entitlement and invoice (in arrears) for the difference between agreed fees and fee reduction amounts after the end of each fortnight.

Providers should also be aware that, when children start attending care while a claim is being assessed, any subsidy amounts payable for this period (noting that claims can be backdated up to 28 days) will generally be paid to the individual, not to the provider (see Are any payments made to families?).

What happens if the subsidy cannot be passed on to the family?

Providers are required to pass on the benefit of the Child Care Subsidy payment to the relevant individuals as a fee reduction within 14 days. This is usually done by reducing the amount of fees payable by the parent to the provider so that the parent only pays the gap fee (the total fee liability amount less the Child Care Subsidy amount).

If it is not reasonably practicable for the provider to pass on the fee reduction amount to the relevant individual, the provider must remit (that is, repay) the Child Care Subsidy amount to the Department of Human Services within 14 days. This occurs through the Child Care Subsidy System. Under Family Assistance Law, a person may commit an offence and is liable to a civil penalty if the person fails to do so.

If this is not done, the unremitted amount will become a debt that is owed to the Commonwealth by the provider.

The Department of Human Services can then make a separate payment of the individual's entitlement directly to the individual.