12 August 2020

Significant changes to the operation of ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne under Stage 4 restrictions

The past week has seen significant new restrictions announced in Victoria designed to limit the movement of people across metropolitan Melbourne and help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state.

Stage 3 restrictions are now in place for regional Victoria (including Mitchell Shire) and Stage 4 restrictions apply to metropolitan Melbourne, with the latter leading to significant operational changes for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.

The Victorian Department of Education and Training has issued guidance about what the new restrictions mean in practice. Services and educators are encouraged to go to the Victorian Department’s website for full details.

In summary, under Stage 4 restrictions, ECEC services in metropolitan Melbourne are now required to:

  • only remain open to children of permitted workers, whose children cannot be cared for by the employee or another responsible adult at the employee’s residence, and for vulnerable children;
  • issue a Permitted Worker Permit (including child care if necessary) to any staff who are required to work on-site at their service. PLEASE NOTE: family day care educators that are sole traders must issue their own worker permit and sign the worker permit as both the employer and employee;
  • co-sign an Access to On-Site Childcare/Kindergarten permit for any of their employees whose children cannot be cared for by the employee or another responsible adult at the employee’s residence.

All other families in metropolitan Melbourne can move to learning from home to support the continuation of their child’s learning and development.

Under Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria, sessional kindergarten, long day care and family day care can continue to operate, with appropriate risk-mitigation measures in place (unless instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to close). While services may see a decrease in attendance, the Victorian Department is asking services to encourage all families (except those with special health risks) to attend on-site, in the best interests of their child’s learning and development.

The DESE has also developed an information sheet to help your families understand the benefits of keeping their children enrolled at your service during COVID-19 and is encouraging services to share with their families. You can access the iInformation sheet here.

For further information on out-of-pocket fee waivers (and eligibility requirements) for services in stage 3 or higher, please refer to the FDCA bulletins sent out to services and educators last Thursday 6 August or get in contact with us at

Useful links

Updated information from DESE on the Transition Payment Grants

The federal Department of Education, Skills and Training (DESE), has created a new webpage to explain the Transition Payment Grants, how the payments work and the associated provider obligations. This page also includes links to the Transition Payment Guidelines and Grants Agreement template. Click here to access the Transition Payment for ECEC providers webpage.

Please note that a different Transition Payment rate will apply for services in metropolitan Melbourne. For more information see the COVID-19 restrictions and the Early Childhood Education and Care Sector webpage.

In addition, the DESE has recently updated a number of questions relating to management of the Transition Payments, clarifying that they are being made in lieu of JobKeeper and that the expectation is that a provider passes on a ‘guaranteed amount of support’ through the transition period to educators and employees.

See the DESE Frequently Asked Questions webpage for all DESE FAQS. See below for copied FAQs regarding the Transition Payment Grants.

“Can a provider reject their Transition Payment Grant offer to allow their sole trader/independent contractor educators claim JobKeeper? Updated 10/08/2020

The intent of the Transition Payment is to ensure that a provider receives a guaranteed amount of support through the transition period back to CCS instead of Jobkeeper, ensuring equity across the sector. If a provider does not accept the Transition Payment Grant offer, then their sole trader or independent contractor educators may be eligible for JobKeeper, but their employees and the provider itself, if they are also a sole trader are not.

Further information about changes to JobKeeper can be found on the ATO website.

I am a sole trader/independent contractor educator and my provider is receiving the Transition Payment. Is my provider required to pass the transition payment on to me? Updated 10/08/2020

Providers who took up the Transition Payment Grant offer are responsible for the administration of the payment, including decisions on how to apply payment amounts to their business. This is not determined by the Department, but is an individual business decision.

However, the Employment Guarantee reflects the Department and the community’s expectation that services will look after their educators and their staff, permanent and casual. As the Transition Payment is paid instead of JobKeeper it should be used to support educators and employees and should be passed on through wages and payments.

As a result of the return to regular Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) arrangements since 13 July 2020, along with the requirement for families to pay the gap fee, educators should see their income normalise.”

Services and educators should again note that in early July Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) made available the Transition Payment Practice Guidance to service members.

The guidance, commissioned by FDCA and funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), has been independently developed by Deloitte Australia and is designed to assist services work through in considering their circumstances and working through the complexities of distributing the Transition Payment from the return to the Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS).

Perspectives on Quality launched on the FDCA Professional Learning Portal

On Monday 10 August, FDCA launched the latest addition to Family Day Care Australia’s (FDCA) Professional Learning Portal is the Perspectives on Quality in Australian Family Day Care resource.

This guided critical reflection resource for educators is the online adaptation of the previously released hard copy resource, which continues to deliver on FDCA's ongoing commitment and core strategic goal of supporting members to deliver the best possible learning and developmental outcomes for children in family day care. The resource represents a shared opportunity to engage in a high quality, evidence-based reflective tool that's an easily accessible benefit for all members.

The tool is based on the Perspectives on Quality in Australian Family Day Care Report, commissioned by FDCA, and undertaken by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales.

The reflection tool consists of five videos containing interviews with educators, coordination unit staff on areas which were identified in the research as being particularly important in the delivery of high quality family day care:

  • Professional practice;
  • Relationships;
  • Flexibility;
  • Diversity and social support; and
  • Autonomy.

Each video is accompanied by guidance modules and a number of reflective questions for you to complete. The modules demonstrate and expand upon each of the five areas outlined in the report. Educators will also be able to download a certificate of completion for their own or their service's professional development records.

How do I access the FDCA Professional Learning Portal?

To start using the FDCA Professional Learning Portal all you need to do is login to your FDCA Member Dashboard and click on the "Professional Learning Portal" button on the left. If you do not have an FDCA online account, simply click here and follow the instructions.

If you have any enquiries regarding the FDCA Professional Learning Portal please email

2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards: Nominations close this Thursday

Do you know an educator or work with a coordinator or service that provides amazing support?

If the answer is yes, make sure you place a nomination for an educator, coordinators or service in this year's Excellence in Family Day Care Awards by Thursday, 13 August.

Placing your nomination is easy; all you need to do is click here.

Nominations close this Thursday at 11.59pm AEST.

Share the 2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards on social media

Did you know that you can help spread the word about the 2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards by sharing them on social media?

By sharing our Awards post on Facebook, you can help ensure that educators, coordinators and services will receive the recognition that they deserve.

To share our Facebook post before nominations close, click here.

Check out this year's awards nominees

Did you know that you can view the nominees for the 2020 awards on our website?

If you want to find out which educators, coordinators and service have been nominated in the first three rounds of the 2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards, click here.

Do you want to know more about the awards?

To find out more about the 2020 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards, visit

FDCA 2021 National Conference - last month to access 12-month payment plan

The team at FDCA understands that now more than ever, managing the cash flow of your business is extremely important.

Therefore we are committed to providing you with flexible payment options to give you the very best chance to take part in what promises to be the must-attend professional learning and networking event on the family day care calendar in 2021, the FDCA 2021 National Conference.

12-month payment plan ends this month

In continuing with our proud tradition of providing our members with flexible ticketing options to attend the National Conference, we’re providing you with exclusive access to our members-only 12-month payment plan.

This means you can access your conference ticket at the early-bird rate and spread the cost of your ticket out over 12 monthly instalments of only $52. This works out to be on average a little over $12 per week.*

Access to the 12-month payment plans ends on 31 August 2020. To ensure you take advantage of this exclusive members-only offer click here to purchase your FDCA 2021 National Conference ticket via a 12-month payment plan.

Full ticket refunds available to members until 28 July 2021

We are very mindful that for many, committing to the purchase of a conference ticket can be a difficult decision.

To remove any concerns for members we are committed to offering full refunds to all members up until 28 July 2021.

This means that you can purchase your ticket with our 12-month payment plan with full knowledge that you will be able to get a full refund before 28 July 2021.

To find out more about the conference including information on accommodation, our first keynote speaker, Dr Helen May and some of the fantastic activities on offer in Hobart, visit