Provider approval

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Under Family Assistance Law any of the following entities may apply for provider approval for one or more services that the provider operates or proposes to operate:

  • Sole trader—an individual person who has legal capacity and/or authority to enter obligations.
  • Partnership—a collection of entities (for example, made up of individuals, companies or other corporate bodies) where the control or management of the business is shared.
  • Private company—a company registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission as Proprietary Limited (cannot raise funds from the public).
  • Public company—a company registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission that is usually formed to raise or borrow public money by listing the company’s shares for trading on the Stock Exchange.
  • Registered cooperative—a democratic organisation owned and controlled by its members for a common benefit. The name of a registered cooperative always includes the word ‘Cooperative’ or ‘Coop’ and ends with ‘Limited’ or ‘Ltd’.
  • Australian Government body—Australian Government bodies are not required to register their name or any name they trade under as a business name but may still wish to do so under some circumstances.
  • State/territory government body—government bodies are not required to register their name or any name they trade under as a business name but may still wish to do so under some circumstances.
  • Local council—as government bodies, local councils are not required to register a name or any name they trade under as a business name but may still wish to do so under some circumstances.
  • Indigenous corporation—a corporation that is voluntarily registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006.
  • Incorporated body or association—an entity which is separate from the individual member, is given legal status by state or territory legislation and will have a constitution or rules setting out how it operates.
  • Unincorporated body or association—an unincorporated body is not a separate legal entity from its members; it is simply the group of people who have agreed to come together to pursue a common purpose with club-like characteristics—for example, a sporting club, social club or trade union.

Can trusts be approved?

Approval may be granted to a trustee in its capacity as trustee of the trust. As part of the application for approval, the provider (trustee) must provide a copy of the trust deed.

Approval is not granted to the trust itself, as a trust is not a legal entity.

Where a provider is uncertain of its entity type or its trustee status, it is important that it seek independent business advice before seeking approval.

Why do providers need an Australian Business Number?

Approved providers will be responsible for receiving and passing on significant amounts of public funds in the form of child care fee assistance payments, so it is necessary to unambiguously identify the legal entity as an organisation.

All providers must have a valid Australian Business Number, including trustees acting in their capacity as a trustee (noting that a trustee may also have a separate Australian Business Number when acting on its own behalf and not as a trustee). Information about how to apply for an Australian Business Number is on the Australian Business Register website at www.abr.gov.au.

Are there financial requirements for providers?

A Large Centre Based Day Care provider must be financially viable, and likely to remain so, to be approved. A provider is a Large Centre Based Day Care provider if it (or a group of related providers) operates 25 or more approved Centre Based Day Care services.

The Secretary of the Department of Education may ask for additional information or supporting documentation to assess whether Large Centre Based Day Care providers meet this requirement. However, providers are responsible for ensuring their application is complete and contains enough information to enable this assessment to be made.