Reminder: child care providers must talk to families about enrolments after COVID-19 lockdown

As lockdowns end, it is important for child care providers to talk to families about their plans to return to care.

If a family does not intend to return to care, child care providers must take action as soon as possible. If they don’t, the provider may get a debt on behalf of the family.

Support to end enrolments after lockdown

We don’t usually pay Child Care Subsidy (CCS) for any days after the last day a child physically attends.

However, we will pay CCS for absences after a child’s last physical attendance for up to 28 days after a COVID-19 hotspot ends.

But providers must take action to avoid a debt.

Action for providers

  1. Speak to families about their intentions to return.
  2. Identify any families who want to end their enrolment.
  3. Identify if the planned enrolment end date falls during a COVID-19 hotspot of more than 7 days or within 28 days of the hotspot ending (see key dates below).
  4. If the above criteria is met, record an attendance on the last day of the child’s enrolment. Use the following details when recording the session:
    • session fee: $0
    • session start time: 10.00 pm to 10.15 pm (or another 15-minute period if this time conflicts with an absence)
    • session description: COVID-19 last day of care.

If you don’t end a child’s enrolment as per the steps above, and the child continues to not attend care, you may get a debt on behalf of the family.

Key dates to end enrolments in each region

Families who want to end their enrolment must do so within 28 days of the hotspot ending. The below dates indicate when this occurs in each area.

New South Wales

  • 8 November

Victoria

  • Metropolitan Melbourne: 18 November
  • Mildura: 18 November
  • Mitchell Shire: 10 November
  • Rest of Victoria: 7 October

Australian Capital Territory

  • 15 November

While some of these dates have passed, it’s not too late for providers to end the enrolment and avoid a debt.

Providers can submit a $0 session per the instructions for any eligible enrolment that ended within 28 days of the COVID-19 hotspot in your area, and CCS will be repaid. You must ensure the family receives the benefit of this payment.

Providers can end an enrolment for a date in the past if the family agrees. If you have submitted session reports after the enrolment end date, you will have to withdraw these before ending the enrolment.

What should I tell families?

We encourage providers to share this article from Services Australia with families at their service.