2023-24 Budget Wrap Up
There were a number of measures announced for the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in the Federal Budget which was handed down last night by the Treasurer, Dr Jim Chalmers.
FDCA welcomes the Government’s acknowledgement of the importance of the ECEC sector through the record investment it has made to enhance accessibility and to address the significant workforce challenges.
FDCA is meeting with Department officials in Canberra today to reiterate the important role played by the family day care sector in Australia’s ECEC landscape and reinforce the case for ensuring investment measures are leveraging the unique capabilities of family day care to better support children, families and communities across Australia.
Key measures in the budget that are most relevant to the family day care sector include:
- Cheaper Child Care: The previously announced $4.7 billion Cheaper Childcare measures formed the centrepiece of the Government’s support for Australia’s early childhood education and care sector. These measures will see CCS rates lift to 90 per cent for families on a combined income of $80,000 or less and will take effect from 10 July 2023.
- CCS payment Integrity: The Government will undertake additional payment integrity activities to safeguard the Child Care Subsidy program from fraud and non-compliance. This will achieve net savings of $139.4 million over 4 years from 2023–24. This builds on the CCS Reforms Integrity Package from the October 2022 Budget.
- Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) – ongoing support: The Government is providing $575.1 million over the next four years to continue support for early education and care services in communities experiencing disadvantage and ensure services in regional and remote areas stay open, including when something unexpected happens.
- Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) - improving access: The Government will provide $2.8 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to streamline the application process and delivery of the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) and expand the exceptional circumstances criteria that can be applied to applications to backdate ACCS (child wellbeing) by more than 28 days.
- Measures to build ECEC workforce capacity: $72.4 million will be allocated over five years from 2022-23 to help support the skills and training of early childhood education and care educators by expanding access to quality professional development and facilitating attendance at practicum placements for eligible students of Bachelor or Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. The initiatives will prioritise support for First Nations educators, and educators in regional and remote areas.
National Family Day Care Week Wrap Up
Thank you to everyone who participated in National Family Day Care Week 2023 and shared your celebrations with us on socials. The annual week was celebrated by services, educators and families across the country with teddy bear picnics, superhero excursions and family morning teas, some of which can be seen via the FDCA Facebook or by searching the hashtag #FDCWeek23
National Family Day Care Week highlights the important role that FDC plays in the lives of many Australian children and is integral to raising the image and profile of family day care.
To find out more about National Family Day Care Week, visit www.fdcweek.com.au.
The Department is Seeking Volunteers to Pilot Sample Audit Process
As service members are aware, from 1 July 2023, Section 201B(1) of the Administration Act will require Providers to take all reasonable steps to ensure that gap fees are paid to the Provider (whether collected directly by services or through educators acting as agents on behalf of the provider), using an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) system.
Following the 1 July 2023 implementation date, the Department of Education (‘the Department’) will be conducting audits to ensure Providers are meeting this obligation.
The Department is seeking model providers who are willing to volunteer for trialing the sample audit process.
FDCA encourages those services that have capacity to participate in trialing the sample audit process in order to ensure they work for family day care.
Providers who volunteer will be working with the Department to provide input and to help shape the final audit process. The Department is aiming to make this process as streamlined as possible and to minimise the administrative burden it may have on Providers.
To find out more and how your service can express their interest in participating, click here.
Child Care Subsidy is Changing
From 10 July 2023, most families using early childhood education and care will get more Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
Here’s what providers need to know:
- The maximum amount of CCS is increasing from 85% to 90%.
- Families earning $80,000 or less will get 90% subsidy.
- Families earning over $80,000 and under $530,000 will get a subsidy that tapers down from 90%, depending on their income. The subsidy will decrease 1% for each $5,000 earned.
- Families earning below $362,408 with more than one child aged 5 or under in care can still get a higher rate for their second and younger children.
Providers can help your families understand what the changes mean for them. Do this by:
- Directing families to the CCS Calculator at StartingBlocks.gov.au to find out what their future rates may be.
- Printing and displaying this poster and factsheet at your service.
- Sharing social media with your families using this kit.
- Telling your families when the CCS changes will take effect with regard to your service’s billing practices.
To find out more visit the Department of Education website.
OES - Episode 4: Tips, Hints and Hacks for Educators
Episode 4 of the FDCA Online Engagement Series will take place on Thursday 25 May at 6.00pm (AEST) and will cover a range of hints, tips and hacks that educators can implement in the day-to-day running of their family day care business.
The panel will share their top three tips for educators, while also exploring topics such as communicating with families, helping children eat healthy and stay active and hacks for educator environments.
Guests that will be joining our host, FDCA Advocacy and Engagement Manager Michael Farrell include:
- Lyndall Cotterill - Family Day Care Australia, Sector Liaison Coordinator and 2021 National Coordinator of the Year
- Hannah Smith - Midcoast Family Day Care, Family Day Care Educator and 2022 National Educator of the Year
- Martha Smith - Baw Baw Family Day Care, Family Day Care Educators and 2018 Educator of the Year National Finalist
To help us cover as much relevant content as possible, we want you to be part of the conversation by submitting your questions for our panelists. If you would like to submit a question, simply click here
The panel sessions are FREE to view live on the FDCA website, FDCA Facebook page and through FDCA's YouTube channel.
Motor Vehicle Insurance that Understands Your Business
Knowing that your vehicle is a vital part of your business, FDCA has negotiated a range of motor vehicle insurance policies to meet the day-to-day needs of our members.
Our insurance covers the operation of the motor vehicle for your family day care business, allowing for:
- Vehicle usage being defined as private, but allowing for minor commercial usage in relation to the family day care business.
- Carrying of passengers for hire, fare, reward in relation to the family day care business.
- Child seats are covered up to $650 per seat.
What should I ask before purchasing insurance for my vehicle?
We’ve put together a quick Q&A to outline some important questions you should ask before purchasing any motor vehicle insurance, and how FDCA’s insurance stacks up.
“I now operate a Family Day Care business and am paid to care for children. Some of the activities such as school runs and excursions will involve taking the children in the car. Will you still cover my car under a private use motor vehicle policy?”
FDCA Answer: Yes!
“I may have a number of child safety seats and booster seats to cater for the range of children I have in care. Will you cover all the child seats on the policy?”
FDCA Answer: Yes, but they must be listed on the policy.
To protect your vehicle with insurance that understands the unique needs of your family day care business, give us a call on 1800 658 699 or click here.
2023 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards - Coming Soon!
We’ve received a number of enquiries lately regarding the start date of the 2023 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards.
Nominations for this year’s awards will open in early June and the Gala Dinner will take place in November.
Stay tuned for more details when we launch the Awards in the coming weeks!