The following information explains how to apply for approval under the Family Assistance Law for the purposes of administering Australian Government child care fee assistance to eligible families.
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To receive the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payment on behalf of families, child care providers must apply for CCS Approval and be granted it under Family Assistance Law. There are seven steps to applying for CCS Approval and information about each of these steps is provided below.
It is a good idea to begin the process to start and submit your CCS application well before the date you want your CCS Approval to commence. The application steps are straightforward however some parts of the process may be delayed if you are required to obtain documentary evidence. For example, you may need to apply for documents such as birth certificates to verify your identity.
- Providers who have a Trust ABN should contact the department before applying.
If you wish to apply for CCS Provider Approval and you are a trustee acting on behalf of a trust, you should contact the CCS Assessment Team by email to CCSAssessments@dese.gov.au who will assist you in providing the correct information.
- CCS approval cannot start earlier than the date you submitted your CCS application.
For example, if you started your application on 1 February 2020 but did not submit it until 1 March 2020, and you are approved, CCS can be paid back to 1 March 2020.
- It is not possible to simply transfer existing CCS approval from one provider to another.
For example, if you purchase a CCS approved service or your organisation changes legal entity type (e.g. from a partnership to a company)
- the original provider will need to submit the Notification of intension of closure, sale or transfer of ownership form to the department;
- the original provider’s CCS Approval is cancelled by the department and
- you will need to submit a new application for CCS Approval of the service.
- Note for existing providers with CCS Approval who want to add another service.
When you are first granted CCS Provider Approval, you are approved for one child care service. Once you have this approval, you can apply to add new services to it. You can do this by using the Provider Entry Point (the PEP). For instructions, read the How to Submit an Application to Add a Child Care Service to a CCS Approval Task Card
- CCS approval is automatically suspended by the department when the corresponding National Law approval is voluntarily suspended by the State or Territory Regulatory Authority.
A provider will need to apply for voluntary suspension of CCS approval if:
- its service is not regulated by the National Law, or;
- its National Law approval is not suspended
but it will not meet its minimum annual operating requirements due to a temporary closure.
The Suspension on Request of CCS Approval Fact Sheet has more information.
All application queries can be directed to the department's CCS Assessment Team by email to CCSAssessments@dese.gov.au
Step 1: Check if you are eligible to apply
If you intend to apply for CCS approval on behalf of a provider, there are several things that you need to check first.
Check that the provider's legal entity type is one that can apply for CCS approval and also that the entity has a valid Australian Business Number (ABN).
Check that the provider and service are eligible under Family Assistance Law
Check that the service is providing the type of care that can be CCS approved.
Check the CCS type of service you need to apply for and that the service will be able to meet CCS operating requirements for that type.
- Read the:CCS Service Types Fact Sheet and Determining the difference Between a Centre-based Day Care and an Outside School Hours Care Fact Sheet
You should also be aware of the Family Assistance Law
There are a number of different laws governing the CCS payment and the eligibility of CCS providers. These different pieces of legislation are grouped together under the description of "Family Assistance Law".
Sections 194C and 194D of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 (referred to as the Act) describe the eligibility requirements for child care providers and services seeking CCS approval.
An approved provider is expected to know what their legal obligations are in relation to the child care they provide and the CCS payments they receive from the department. It is a good idea to become familiar with the legislation so that you know what your provider must do to remain CCS eligible and keep receiving CCS payments.
To help you understand the legislation, the department has published various Fact Sheets and the ones relating to the application and approval process are listed below.
Step 2: Apply for National Law Approval (if relevant)
An eligibility requirement of CCS approval in almost all cases is that the provider and service are approved under Education and Care Service National Law referred to as the National Law. (A small number of providers and services are not required to be approved under National Law because they are not covered by the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010. These services are referred to as being 'out of scope' with National Law). More information about out of scope services can be found in the 'Who is Not Covered' Information Sheet located on the Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority website.
The National Law is administered by the child care regulatory authority in the state or territory where the service is located).
You do not need to wait until National Law approval is granted before submitting a CCS application. You can submit your CCS application as soon as you have the provider and service approval number issued to you by the state or territory regulatory authority. This number is sent to you when the application for National Law Approval is submitted.
It is necessary that the same legal entity is approved under both the National Law and the Family Assistance Law.
You can read more about the requirement for National Law approval in the Aligning CCS Approval with National Law Approval Fact Sheet.
Step 3: Gather the required documents and information
A CCS application cannot be submitted unless all required documents are attached. To see what documents you will need:
- Read the Mandatory Requirements for CCS Applications Fact Sheet to learn what is required to be submitted as part of a CCS application.
- Read the Child Care Provider Governance Requirements for CCS Applications Fact Sheet to learn what information needs to be included in a CCS application in relation to a provider's governance. The Governance Workbook can be used to provide the necessary information.
We recommend gathering the required documents so that you have them ready before starting your application.
Step 4: Complete PRODA registrations
PRODA (Provider Digital Access) is an online authentication system that the department uses to check the identity of child care provider entities and their personnel. You can find out how PRODA interacts with the Child Care Subsidy System by reading the Child Care Subsidy IT System Fact Sheet.
You cannot start a CCS application unless the necessary individual and organisation PRODA accounts have been created.
There are particular people who must create an individual PRODA account before you can start your CCS application. These people are:
- the person who will create the CCS application,
- all persons in specified personnel roles - Persons with Management or Control of the Provider, Persons with Responsibility for Day to Day Operation of the Service and Family Day Care or In Home Care Educators (see below for more information about personnel)
- the person listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as an Associate for the provider entity (if they are not any of the above).
The How to Register for an Individual Account Task Card explains how to create an individual PRODA account. This requires the person to provide identity documents such as Medicare Card, Birth Certificate or Passport.
These individual accounts must be created before starting your application because the PRODA registration number is used to add personnel to a CCS application.
The CCS Specified Personnel Fact Sheet provides information about the personnel that must be listed on the CCS application before it can be submitted. The CCS Specified Personnel Roles Quick Reference Guide provides an overview of the different roles and what actions the persons are authorised to undertake.
The Provider Personnel for Community Organisations, Schools and Local Councils Fact Sheet provides information about individuals undertaking personnel roles in these types of entities.
The person who will submit the CCS application does not need to be one of the specified personnel roles.
- A PRODA organisation account must be created for the provider legal entity before you can start a CCS application:
This record will be validated against information about the provider's legal entity held by the ABR. The PRODA organisation record must be created by the person listed as an Associate for that entity on the ABR record. That person must first have their own individual PRODA account.
The How to Register an Organisation Task Card explains how to create an organisation record in PRODA.
If you need help with PRODA
You can get help with creating individual or organisation PRODA accounts can be obtained by calling the Services Australia PRODA Helpdesk on 1800 700 199 (and select Option 1) Monday to Friday 8.00am to 5.00pm (AEDT).
Step 5: Undertake fit and proper checks for all personnel
A requirement of a CCS application is that you declare, and are able to provide evidence on request, that specified personnel are fit and proper and that the necessary checks have been undertaken. Documentary evidence of some of these checks must be attached to the application.
The Fit and Proper Requirements for Child Care Providers and their Personnel Fact Sheet provides more information about what checks and what documents are required for each personnel role.
Step 6: Submit your application online
You must complete and submit your CCS application using the using the Provider Entry Point (PEP). The PEP is also how you will communicate with the department about your application and submit any additional information that may be requested as part of the assessment process.
The How to Submit an Application to Become a CCS Approved Provider Task Card provides step-by-step instructions on how to access and complete the online application.
To start your CCS application visit the PEP:
CCS approval cannot start any earlier than the date you submitted your online CCS application. For example, if you submit your application on 1 January 2020 and you are approved, CCS cannot be paid for child care you provided before 1 January 2020.
Step 7: Wait for your approval decision
CCS approval is not automatic or guaranteed. Each application is assessed on its merits and against specific criteria. All new providers must go through a thorough approvals process which is necessary to ensure that they and their personnel are fit and proper to administer public funds.
Unfortunately, we cannot tell you how long the approval decision will take because each assessment is different. There is no specified length of time for the department to assess applications and make a decision, but we try to process all applications as quickly as possible.
While you are waiting for the outcome of your application, you should advise families using care that the service is not yet CCS approved and that you are waiting for an assessment to be made.
When a decision is made you will receive email notification from the department:
- If you are approved: you must set up your child care software product, if you are using one, and create child enrolments. To activate the software, you must give your software vendor particular details including the CCS Provider ID, the CCS Person ID and the software activation code. The CCS Provider ID and CCS Person ID are included in the Notice of Approval. Software activation codes can be generated through the provider's PRODA account. The Managing BSB Devices Task Card explains how to do this.
- If you are not approved, the reasons for this decision will be set out in the letter. The letter will also explain what you can do to request an Administrative Review if you do not agree with the delegate's decision.
The Readiness Guide for New CCS Approved Providers Guide Fact Sheet outlines what newly approved providers need to do to be able to pass on CCS payments to their families.
All Fact Sheets and Task Cards
- Aligning CCS Approval with National Law Approval Fact Sheet
- CCS Approval Provider and Service Eligibility Requirements Fact Sheet
- Services Ineligible for CCS Approval Fact Sheet
- CCS Approval - Minimum Operating Periods - Special Circumstance Requirements Fact Sheet
- CCS Service Types Fact Sheet
- Determining the Difference Between a Centre-Based Day Care or an Outside School Hours Care
- CCS Approval - Requirements for Legal Entities, Ultimate Holding Entities, ABNs and Trustees Fact Sheet
- Mandatory Requirements for CCS Applications Fact Sheet
- Child Care Provider Governance Requirements Fact Sheet
- Governance Workbook for CCS Applicants
- CCS Specified Personnel Fact Sheet
- CCS Specified Personnel Quick Reference Guide
- CCS Fit and Proper Requirements for Child Care Providers and their Personnel Fact Sheet
- CCS Fit and Proper Requirements – Personnel for Community Organisations, Schools and Local Councils Fact Sheet
- The CCS IT System Fact Sheet
- Readiness Guide for New CCS Approved Providers Fact Sheet
- CCS Approval Notification Obligations Fact Sheet
- How to Register for an Individual Account Task Card
- How to Register an Organisation Task Card
- How to Submit an Application to Become a CCS Approved Provider Task Card
- How to Submit an Application to Add a Child Care Service to a CCS Approval Task Card
- Managing BSB Devices Task Card
- How to Manage your Organisation Task Card