The Minister for Education and Training the Hon Simon Birmingham has today introduced changes to the child care payments legislative framework. In a media release Minister Birmingham said, “this tough stance is necessary as families rightly expect that not only do child care staff have rigorous checks and balances but that their taxpayer dollars are directed to those operators doing the right thing and delivering high quality, flexible and affordable child care to families, not to ‘shonky’ providers offering sub-standard or illusionary services.”
Family Day Care Australia and state and territory family day care associations were consulted in confidence on the changes through the Department of Education and Training and offered in principle support for the amendments as they are designed to stop payments being made to operators that are claiming subsidies for care that is outside the policy intent of family day care or not taking place at all.
Family Day Care Australia supports the Australian Government’s ongoing efforts to increase compliance and stop unscrupulous or fraudulent activities within our sector.
In summary, the changes include:
Ensuring that child care fee assistance is not payable for:
- care where there is not a genuine liability
- family day care provided in the child’s own home, or where the parent is present
- family day care or in-home care provided by a parent or sibling
- care that is predominantly transport.
A minimum benchmark for existing notifiable events obligations for all approved early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. Services must notify the department where they become aware that a key personnel, staff member, family day care educator or in-home care educator:
- is charged with or found guilty of a serious indictable offence
- becomes bankrupt
- has their working with children check refused, amended or cancelled.
Additional suitability criteria that will apply to all ECEC service types and their key personnel.
The changes will commence from 10 October 2016 and are made through the following determinations:
The determinations are available on the Federal Register of Legislation which can be accessed through the links above. The Department of Education and Training will be progressively releasing communication products and guidance to ensure that services, educators and parents understand their obligations as these are released.