Family Day Care Matters 03/06/2020

Thank you for your support!

Last week, after sending a submission to the Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Education, to advocate for a swift return to an amended Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS), we invited Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) members to share their support by communicating the specific challenges they have encountered over the past months to their local MP and State/Territory Senators using the template email we developed. Thank you to all the members who took up that challenge!

Your support, together with our persistence, will help keep the issues that family day care has been facing on the Department and Minister's agenda. While there continues to be significant uncertainty around the end date for the current ECEC Relief Package, we continue to take every opportunity to put forward our shared position on the transition on your behalf.

If you haven’t been able to have your say yet, and would like to, click here to find out how you can get involved.

 

Message from the Department about Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) and the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is reminding service providers that “even though Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) is not being paid to services during the Early Childhood and Care Relief Package (Relief Package) period, there are some things you should note about children who are ‘at risk’ in your service”. DESE has provided the following Q & As to clarify some points:

Should I continue to submit certificates and determinations?

Yes. The Child Care Subsidy System will continue to accept and process applications for certificates and determinations during the Relief Package period, with payments beginning to flow when the Relief Package ceases. DESE encourages providers to continue to submit ACCS (child wellbeing) certificates and determinations, as they fall due. This will help ensure a smooth transition back to regular ACCS (child wellbeing) payments when the system returns to its normal payment arrangements, and reduce the risk of any delays.

What if the current determination has already lapsed or I am providing care to new ‘at risk’ children?

Where ACCS (child wellbeing) determinations have already lapsed or where new ‘at risk’ children may be receiving care, we would also encourage providers to submit a new application for a determination, or a certificate for new children, as soon as they are able to, to help ensure a smooth transition to normal payment arrangements, and reduce the risk of any delays.

Do I still need to refer ‘at risk’ families to state and territory support agencies?

Yes. Where you identify that a child at your service is ‘at risk’ for the purposes of ACCS (child wellbeing), as a condition of receiving payments through the Relief Package, you are required to make a referral to an appropriate support agency as per the existing ACCS (child wellbeing) referral requirements. As families will not be charged fees during the Relief Package period, you may have new enrolment enquiries for children who are ‘at risk’. This is an opportunity to engage these families in care and improve visibility of the ‘at risk’ child in the community.

 

National Reconciliation Week

Every year, National Reconciliation Week is celebrated from 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey:

  • The successful 1967 referendum held on 27 May 1967 in which Australians voted overwhelmingly to amend the constitution to include Aboriginal people in the census and allow the Commonwealth to create laws for them, and;
  • The High Court Mabo decision on 3 June 1992 which established Native Title in Australia.

National Reconciliation Week provides an opportunity for all Australians to reflect on our journey towards reconciliation and to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, as well as how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The theme for this year's National Reconciliation Week is "In This Together", a theme that resonates even more now than when it was chosen last year, and while today marks the formal end of this year's Reconciliation Week, the journey towards reconciliation is ongoing.

For more information about National Reconciliation Week, click here. You can also see some amazing pieces or artwork and activities that have been shared by educators on our Facebook and Instagram pages.

 

JiGSAW magazine competitions extended

Last month, due to third party logistical and distribution issues and delays caused by the COVID-19 crisis we had to make the decision to distribute the 93rd edition of JiGSAW in a digital only format. You can view the latest issue of JiGSAW by clicking here.

Therefore we would like to advise members that we have extended the closing date for all competitions promoted in this edition. All competitions will now close on Sunday 21 June.

If you would like to enter any of the competitions, please click here.

 

Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards

Kidsafe Australia have opened entries for the 2020 Kidsafe National Playspace Design Awards, which recognise excellence and innovation in the provision of safe and creative playspaces.

Importantly, the Awards include a category specifically for family day care playspaces! This is an opportunity for you to share, and be recognised for, the unique and innovative playspaces you create for the children in your service. We all know that family day care can offer play environments unlike other ECEC service types and we commend Kidsafe for recognising and celebrating the family day care sector through the Awards.

If you would like to enter the awards, entries must be received by 5pm AEST, Friday 14 August 2020.

For more information on the Awards and how to enter, click here.

 

Access your new FDCA Member Zone

Last month, you would have received a bulletin announcing the launch of the new FDCA Member Zone. Exclusively available to FDCA Members, the FDCA Member Zone is your new home for a range of members-only tools, resources and content.

The launch of the FDCA Member Zone is part of our continued commitment to providing members with access to high quality resources and tools that support members in the delivery of high quality family day care.

The new FDCA Member Zone houses a range of members-only resources, tools and information that can assist both in the day-to-day running of your family day care business and also your family day care practice. These include FDCA’s Professional Learning Portal, our new and improved Family Day Care Locator, the Market My Business Hub, your Insurance Documentation, a wide range of resources and factsheets as well as the latest issues of JiGSAW Magazine and Family Day Care Matters.

All you need to do to access your FDCA Member Zone is follow these five simple steps:

  1. Click here to activate your free account (for the best experience, use the latest Chrome browser)
  2. Enter your registered email address
  3. An email will then be sent to your email address, click on the 'create password' button
  4. Create and confirm your password
  5. Click here to log in and enter your FDCA Member Zone

You can also access your FDCA Member Zone by clicking 'Member Login' on the FDCA website.

 

JobKeeper update

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) is aware that there is a cohort of educators that remain ineligible for JobKeeper payments and this continues to cause significant financial strain for some. If you are ineligible for JobKeeper yet believe you should be elegible, or you are ineligible for JobKeeper and have not qualified for JobKeeper equivalent payments under the Exceptional Circumstances Supplementary Payments program, please send the details of your case (including documentation) to enquiries@fdca.com.au. We are currently attempting to scope the extent and exact nature of the problem in order to chart the most appropriate course of action in terms of engaging with the relevant departments.

However, if you are a sole trader educator and have been able to qualify for JobKeeper, you need to ensure that you complete a business monthly declaration to be able to keep claiming JobKeeper payments. The ATO website states that you must do this in the first 14 days after the month you are claiming for ends. This means that the business monthly declaration for reimbursement of JobKeeper payments for the month of May is due to be completed by 14 June. Your tax or BAS agent can also make the business monthly declaration for you. Note that, in making your monthly declaration, the ATO will ask you to reconfirm your business participant details and your eligible employees (if you have any).

You will also need to provide information about your GST turnover for the reported month and projected GST turnover for the following month. The ATO emphasises that the information about your turnover is not a re-test of your eligibility, but is collected to “track the progress of your business under the JobKeeper scheme”. For further information see “Step three” in the ATO website guide for sole traders here.

Services who have enrolled for the JobKeeper Payment and identified eligible employees, also need to make a business monthly declaration to the ATO. Similarly you will be able to do this from the 1st to the 14th day of each month, to receive reimbursements for the payments you have made to your employees in the previous month.  For more information, see “Step Three” in the ATO guide for employers here.