The Department of Education, Skills and Employment have now released a Supplementary Payment application form for approved Early Childhood Education and Care Services.
What is the Supplementary Payment?
The Supplementary Payment is available for providers who need a ‘top up’ on the Early Childhood Education and Care Package payment (base relief payment) the service is already getting through the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.
On Friday, 10 April Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) sent a bulletin to all FDCA member services in order to provide guidance in relation to the form and also preparation for completing the form.
Preliminary preparation considerations for your service
When preparing an application for supplementary payments there are a number of circumstances that services must consider, and as a general rule, services should assess the circumstances around service delivery as a whole during the reference week (i.e. the fortnight leading up to 2 March 2020) and now (i.e. the week commencing 6 April 2020).
One of the most important considerations that we have advised services to keep in mind is whether the service and/or your educators are eligible for JobKeeper payments. The JobKeeper framework requires that educators, as sole traders, have an ABN. We are aware that some educators do not have an ABN and specific efforts continue around this issue.
Current guidance indicates that, if educators within a service did not have an ABN before March 12th 2020 that the service should apply for $1,500 in supplementary funding for each educator that does not have an ABN. If the service is successful with this component of their application, the amount would need to be passed on in full to the corresponding educator to assist in ensuring educators' business viability where not eligible for JobKeeper payments.
Additional considerations include, but are not limited to:
If an educator/educators or the service as a whole has seen increased attendance and/or enrolments from the reference fortnight (i.e. the fortnight prior to 2 March 2020) to the period following 6 April 2020
An educator/educators or the service as a whole saw reduced attendance/enrolments (such as children being pulled out of care as a precautionary measure) PRIOR to the reference week
If an educator/educators has had to close their business due to the public health advice or for other health and safety reasons PRIOR to the reference week
If an educator/educators were not providing care (or reduced care) in the reference week i.e. due to leave or sickness
If an educator/educators have been engaged after the reference period
If an educator/educators were delivering significant hours of non-standard hours of care and the standard payment calculation does not account for this
Ineligibility for the JobKeeper Payment
The payment entitlement under the ECEC Relief Package plus JobKeeper payment does not accurately account for the amount of care being delivered by educators either by maintaining a high occupancy rate and/or delivering longer/more hours
Where a service experiences a higher demand for child care for children of essential workers and/or vulnerable and disadvantaged children from 6 April onwards
We have advised services to place their application as soon possible as the supplementary payment will be backdated to the date of application.
It is important to remember, that the Supplementary Payment application form is to be completed by your approved service, the form is not for educators.
Guidance material being commissioned by FDCA
As noted in the bulletin, FDCA has commissioned Deloitte to develop best practice guidance on the distribution of payments under the ECEC Relief Package to educators; a component of this will be assessing the need for a supplementary payment and how best to apply. We understand the urgency of these matters for services and educators and we are working around the clock to expedite this resource.
Please be assured that FDCA continues to advocate for a higher rate of payment through the Supplementary Payment process for family day care to account for the adequate remuneration of educators and the cost of administering the coordination unit for services across the board.
To view the full bulletin that was sent to services, click here.
FDCA COVID-19 information hub updated today 15 April 2020
FDCA has today updated its COVID-19 information hub with information specific to family day care educators and services so you can easily find the latest information, support and resources available to family day care educators and services during the COVID-19 crisis. The hub includes:
a list of key advocacy points that FDCA has raised with the Department of Education, Skills and Employment;
frequently asked questions, including general FAQ’s and FAQ’s specific to educators, services and relating to the National Law;
links to all FDCA bulletins sent to members regarding COVID-19, and;
additional links and resources relating to COVID-19.
We will continue to update these pages as new information comes to hand. Please be aware that the situation is evolving rapidly.
To view the FDCA COVID-19 information hub, click here.
New Department of Education, Skills and Employment COVID-19 Information Session
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment has recorded a new information session for providers and services to discuss the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package.
The session covers:
Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package payments including supplementary payments for exceptional circumstances;
other Australian Government assistance including the JobKeeper Payment, and;
National Family Day Care Week and National Engagement Program forums postponed
In light of the current situation regarding COVID-19 and following the recent restrictions put in place by state, territory and federal governments, we have made the decision to postpone all face-to-face events scheduled to take place before 30 June 2020. This includes National Family Day Care Week, which was scheduled to take place from 4-10 May 2020, as well as the Canberra and Perth National Engagement Program forums that were due to be held in April and May respectively.
We thank you for your understanding and support of these decisions. We hope to be able to announce new dates for these events later in the year, and as your national peak body we look forward to supporting and promoting the sector through these events.