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How is care outside routine session times reported?
Where a service starts to provide care earlier or continues to provide care later than usual (that is, outside the routine session times the parent has agreed to), the provider is still required to report accurate information about the period of care the parent is liable to pay for, including the actual fee charged, based on the terms of the arrangement with the parent.
Complying Written Arrangements between parents and providers should be clear about the treatment of sessions and fees where a child is dropped off or collected outside of routine session times.
Why do attendance times need to be reported?
Providers are required to provide children’s actual in-and-out attendance times in both statements of entitlements to families and session reports to the Australian Government.
Attendance times are not used to calculate Child Care Subsidy or Additional Child Care Subsidy. Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy are calculated based on the length of each session of care individuals are liable to pay for as reported in the session report. Reporting actual attendance times is intended to help parents understand the relationship between the fees they are charged, the amount of subsidy paid to their child care provider on their behalf, and their out-of-pocket expenses.
When are business continuity payments made?
Business continuity payments may be made if a situation arises that is beyond the control of the approved provider and they are prevented from submitting session reports for reasons beyond their control. These payments are an emergency measure only and do not replace the requirement to submit session reports.
Examples of situations where business continuity payments may apply are:
- a disruption to the operation of communication infrastructure the service uses that cannot be rectified by the end of the relevant period
- where the service is significantly affected by a natural disaster, such as flood, storm, fire or earthquake.
Business continuity payments are intended to allow a service to continue operating until electronic reports can be provided. Payments made in this way should still be passed on to parents as fee reductions. Then, once the provider is able to provide session reports again, any business continuity payments will be offset against Child Care Subsidy payments (including those that are calculated for a past period in respect to which any business continuity payments were made).
The amount to be paid will be based on the average weekly amount paid to the service during a similar previous period (for example, a similar number of children and similar time of year), known as a ‘test period’. The amount of the weekly payment will be rounded to the nearest $100.
If the service is new and there is no payment history to establish a test period, the amount will be 50 per cent of 50 hours of care for the estimated number of children in care for the week at the Child Care Subsidy hourly rate cap for the service type.
If a provider is in a situation where it cannot submit session reports for reasons outside its control, it should contact the Department of Education Child Care Subsidy Help Desk (see Appendix G).