Important message to providers: If you or your staff are being non-compliant and this is identified your service may be sanctioned
The Family Assistance Law is the basis for child care subsidies. Providers are approved to administer child care subsidies on behalf of eligible families. The Department has regulatory powers to take sanction action where there is non-compliance with Family Assistance Law.
Child care providers are obliged under law to meet a range of conditions for continued approval to administer child care funding. The approved provider is responsible for ensuring that its services, staff and educators comply with these legal obligations and conditions for continued approval.
Providers must familiarise themselves with, and comply with the obligations and responsibilities provided under Family Assistance Law, as well as National Law. The Department will not accept claims that a provider did not know or understand their obligations or responsibilities.
Important message to families: A service doing the wrong thing can cause you problems
Sometimes families are unaware that services are dishonestly submitting attendance records that misrepresent the care they are providing. To make sure you do not become involved in claiming money you are not entitled to and you may have to repay, you should:
- not accept any offers for Government-subsidised ‘free' transport for your child to and from school
- keep a record of the days and/or hours that your child attends child care
- review the statements given to you by your child care service that show the time your child was in care, the total fee amount and the amount of child care fee assistance you received
- check the statements against your own records
- report anything that doesn't seem right to you.
The Department's ongoing compliance program is intended to make sure that child care payments are:
- Being properly administered by providers and services; and
- Directed to assist eligible families meet the real costs of genuine child care.
The Department takes a risk-based approach to protect the financial integrity of child care payments. This approach monitors patterns of behavior, considers high-risk indicators of potential non-compliance or fraud, investigates suspected non-compliance or fraud, and intervenes accordingly.
Child Care Provider Handbook
The Child Care Provider Handbook (the Handbook) is written for providers of early learning and child care. It is a guide to the requirements and responsibilities of early learning and child care providers and services, which are approved under Family Assistance Law.
Notification of changes to your child care services
It is important that the Department of Education and Training (the Department) have up-to-date details of child care providers and services. Because of this, providers approved for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) are required to tell the Department about certain changes to their operations as outlined in the Family Assistance Law. The changes which must be reported are known as 'Notifiable Events' or ‘Change of Circumstances'.
Notifiable Events include changes to bank details, number of child care places offered, and key personnel. It also includes more serious issues like criminal charges against staff, change to your service's legal entity or the termination of a lease.
Changes can be notified through the child care provider's third-party software or through the Child Care Subsidy System.
The Child Care Enforcement Action Register
The Child Care Enforcement Action Register contains a list of services that have been the subject of a sanction or an immediate suspension under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999. The Register provides details about each service and the reason for imposing a sanction or suspension.
Work with us to keep the child care system fair for everyone
We encourage everyone, including members of the public, to help us make sure that child care payments are only made to those who are entitled to receive them – not to people who ‘accidentally' or intentionally set out to exploit the system.
If you think a service or an individual is doing the wrong thing or is trying to get an unfair advantage, please contact us – you don't even have to give us your name – by:
- phoning us on 1800 664 231
- emailing us on email@example.com.
The resources below provide additional information and support for ongoing compliance with the Family Assistance Law:
- Child Swapping: 'Child swapping' is the practice where a Family Day Care educator, or their partner, receives child care payments from the Government for a session of Family Day Care provided to their child on the same day that they themselves provide Family Day Care for another child.
- Ensuring financial integrity of child care payments: Information for providers and families on the Department's ongoing child care compliance program.
- Family Day Care Education and Support Project: The Family Day Care Education Support Project enables Family Day Care services and educators to have access to additional education and support as required.
- Child care compliance obligations flipchart for Family Day Care services: The child care compliance obligations flipchart has been designed to educate Family Day Care services and educators on their obligations under the Family Assistance Law, and the consequences of non-compliance.
- General Guidance for Suitability under Family Assistance Law
If you have any questions about child care payments compliance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.