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Updating and ending arrangements and enrolments

When should an arrangement and enrolment be updated?

Where there are changes to the arrangement for care between the provider and an individual, the provider must update the arrangement in writing (electronic or hard copy).

The provider must update an enrolment notice if:

  • the individual disagrees with details of an enrolment and the provider agrees an update is required
  • an arrangement for care is changed at the request of, or in discussion with, the individual (and this has been updated in the Complying Written Arrangement)
  • the provider finds out that the information provided in an enrolment is (or becomes) wrong either at the time of or after the enrolment notice was created
  • the arrangement for care ends.

The corresponding enrolment notice must be updated in the Child Care Subsidy System within seven days of the change or event which caused the change to the arrangement.

Providers should update an existing enrolment notice through their child care software or the PEP by updating only the fields where information has changed and submitting the update.

Under Family Assistance Law, a person may commit an offence and is also liable for a civil penalty if the person does not give the Department of Education, within seven days, notice that:

  • information in an enrolment notice has become incorrect, or
  • information has become available that should have been included in the enrolment notice.

A provider may also be liable for a civil penalty if it does not ensure that variations to a Complying Written Arrangement are in writing if that information becomes incorrect.

Do parents need to confirm an updated enrolment?

The individual will receive a notice when their enrolment is updated, but they will not usually be required to confirm updates. Individuals can review the updated details and may disagree with the update if they believe it does not reflect the terms of their Complying Written Arrangement. The provider will be notified if an individual disagrees with an update to an enrolment.

Where an individual disagrees with the enrolment update, Child Care Subsidy will not be paid for sessions of care submitted for that enrolment (after the disagreement occurs) and will be processed only when there is agreement. An individual can disagree with parts of an enrolment at any time (not just when a new enrolment is created) through their Centrelink online account.

When does an enrolment end?

Where an enrolment has an end date, the provider will be notified through the Child Care Subsidy System four weeks before that date. If care is going to continue under the arrangement, the enrolment end date must be updated or else the arrangement will end. If that happens, the child will need to be re-enrolled and a Complying Written Arrangement will need to be re-established.

An enrolment will end for Child Care Subsidy purposes if a child does not attend a session of care for eight continuous weeks. The provider will be notified after four weeks of no sessions of care being reported. If the child starts attending the service again after 14 weeks or more, the provider will need to re-establish the Complying Written Arrangement with the individual and submit a new enrolment notice.

Scenario: Re-establishing the Complying Written Arrangement

Katie's child care provider has not provided a session of care for Katie for more than eight weeks due to an extended holiday. As more than 14 weeks has passed since Katie last attended a session of care at the service, she has ceased to be enrolled with the service.

On their return, Katie's mum calls the provider to see if Katie can return to care. There is a vacancy and the provider and Katie's mum decide to meet.

Katie's mum and the provider look at her previous Complying Written Arrangement and decide it will cover Katie's child care needs. The provider updates the fees as well as the arrangement start date in the Complying Written Arrangement. Katie's mum agrees with the change, and it is updated on the computer. Katie's mum takes a copy of the Complying Written Arrangement with her to review and then emails the provider saying that she agrees to the new Complying Written Arrangement.

The provider submits a new enrolment notice, which Katie's mum confirms, and Katie returns to care on the agreed date.

No Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy is payable for any session of care that occurs after the last day a child physically attended care at the provider.

This means that if a provider submits absences for a child after the last day a child physically attended child care, no Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy is payable for those absences, and any Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy that is paid for these absences must be returned to the Australian Government.

This also applies to enrolment notices which are automatically ended by the Child Care Subsidy System or where the provider ends an enrolment notice by updating it with an end date.

How is an arrangement and enrolment re-established once ended?

The process to re-establish a Complying Written Arrangement can be streamlined—for example, where parents only use vacation care during school holidays. For example, providers and parents can simply confirm that terms of the previous Complying Written Arrangement for the previous vacation care period will apply to the new enrolment and update relevant details, such as changes in fees or sessions of care, if required, when preparing the new Complying Written Arrangement. At a minimum, the new Complying Written Arrangement will need a new start date, which is the date the provider and parent re-establish the arrangement.

Once the Complying Written Arrangement is re-established with the parent, the provider can submit the enrolment notice for the upcoming period. The process to generate and submit a new enrolment notice in the Child Care Subsidy System for a child who was previously enrolled at the same service may also be streamlined—for example, by pre-filling the new notice with appropriate details from the child’s previous enrolment. This will be a new enrolment in the Child Care Subsidy System, therefore, the parent will need to confirm the enrolment before Child Care Subsidy can be paid to their provider on their behalf. Parents can do this through their Centrelink online account.

As this process will vary depending on the software being used to submit enrolments, providers should check with their child care software provider if they are unsure how this process works for their service.