Child care infringement notices

We can issue infringement notices, or fines, to providers that don’t follow the rules under Family Assistance Law.

On this page:

What is an infringement notice?

Providers must follow the rules under Family Assistance Law to receive Child Care Subsidy. Infringements encourage compliance for providers that don't comply.

An infringement notice is a fine and can be expensive.

Family Assistance Law (FAL) sets the rules for administering the Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

These rules help ensure the Australian Government’s investment in the sector is used appropriately.

Providers must make sure that they, their employees and educators follow the rules. We may issue an infringement notice to providers that don't follow the rules.

Many providers comply with the law and do the right thing. However, where rules are not followed, we can use infringement notices to help change provider behaviour.

Infringement notices help providers avoid more severe penalties. They allow a provider to pay a small fine rather than get much larger penalties. Infringement notices are an alternative to:

  • other sanctions (for example, losing approval to administer CCS)
  • being taken to court
  • being prosecuted.

What can an infringement notice be issued for?

 

Child care providers must report their fees as a requirement under Family Assistance Law. If they don't report their fees, they may get an infringement.

There are many FAL obligations that contain a civil penalty offence for which we can issue an infringement notice. Some examples include:

  • not correctly recording persons with management or control
  • not correctly reporting your fee information
  • not submitting enrolment notices or session reports on time
  • not passing on or remitting a fee reduction amount
  • failure to meet reporting notification requirements
  • failure to keep records.

See the full list of FAL civil penalty provisions that apply

When can an infringement notice be issued?

We monitor providers’ compliance with FAL. We can issue an infringement notice when a provider breaks the law.

We consider a range of factors when deciding whether to issue an infringement notice. These may include:

  • the severity of risk the non-compliance presents to the integrity of CCS
  • the provider’s behaviour
  • the nature of the alleged contravention
  • the number of identified alleged contraventions
  • how it the alleged contravention occurred
  • whether the alleged contravention is an isolated instance or systemic
  • the provider’s compliance history
  • how a period of emergency has impacted the provider.

We can issue an infringement notice within 12 months of the alleged contravention.

How much is the penalty?

The penalty amount in each infringement notice will vary depending on:

  • the alleged contravention
  • the number of times a contravention has occurred
  • whether the provider is a body corporate or an individual.

Read more about civil penalty provisions.

What does an infringement notice look like?

The infringement notice is on official departmental letterhead with the department’s logo and Commonwealth crest. It will include:

  • a unique infringement notice number
  • the date we issued the infringement notice
  • name of the provider or person we issued the infringement notice to
  • reasons for the infringement notice
  • financial penalty amount and due date
  • payment options
  • process to request a withdrawal or extension to pay
  • action we will take if the penalty amount is not paid.

We send infringement notices by email and post. Emails will come from CCInfringements@education.gov.au. Please add this address to your safe list. 

Paying the infringement notice

You have 28 days to pay the fine after the infringement notice is given.

Each infringement notice contains payment instructions. You can pay by electronic funds transfer, cheque or money order.

Paying an infringement notice is not an admission of liability.

After you make payment, we cannot take any further court action for the alleged contravention.

What happens if I do not pay my infringement notice?

If you do not pay the financial penalty amount by the due date, we can take further action. We may:

  • issue more infringement notices
  • cancel, suspend or impose conditions on your approval to receive CCS
  • suspend CCS payments
  • take the matter to court.

If we proceed with court action, the court may impose a much larger penalty than the amount in the infringement notice. 

What if I need more time to pay?

You can request an extension of time to pay an infringement notice.

Your request:

Examples of evidence to support an extension may include:

  • statutory declarations
  • screen shots
  • correspondence or business records that support the request.

We cannot accept a request for an extension after the due date has passed.

We will assess your request and advise you of our decision.

What if I do not agree with the infringement notice?

You may request the withdrawal of an infringement notice.

Your request:

Examples of evidence to support a withdrawal may include:

  • statutory declarations
  • screen shots
  • correspondence or business records that support the request.

If you have taken steps to fix and maintain your compliance, you can provide information about those steps. We will assess your request and advise you of our decision.

If we withdraw the infringement notice, it is taken to have never been issued. If you paid the infringement notice before it was withdrawn, we will refund the money that you have paid.

If we do not withdraw the infringement notice, the due date for the penalty stays the same. This is unless we have granted you an extension before the due date.

More information

If you need more information, send an email to the Child Care Compliance Operations Team at CCInfringements@education.gov.au