26 June 2024

Excellence in Family Day Care Awards

We’ve received more than 3000 nominations for this year’s Excellence in Family Day Care Awards! Congratulations to all those who have been nominated. 

The first and second round nominations have been released and are available on the FDCA website.

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) members that were nominated from 12 June to 18 June should have received a nomination confirmation email and have been included on the nomination lists. Those nominated after this time will be included in our next round of nominations.

For more information and to place a nomination visit the Awards page on the FDCA website. Nominations close Thursday 4 July 2024.

The Awards showcase the many and unique benefits of the nurturing, natural approach to early education and care that family day care provides to more than 75,000 Australian children. They also celebrate the work of Educators, Coordinators and Services and the family day care sector.

You can help to promote the Awards, and family day care, by sharing content on social media. Check the FDCA Facebook page and your inbox for more resources.

Linking quality and child development in early childhood education and care

Research by The Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO) and the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland has found children who attend early childhood education and care (ECEC) services with an overall rating of ‘exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS) or above’ are less likely to be developmentally vulnerable than those in services with lower ratings.

The study provides the first empirical evidence in Australia linking Service Quality ratings with child development.

‘These findings confirm what many of us have long suspected – investing in high-quality early childhood education and care services leads to better learning outcomes for children across Australia,’ said AERO’s CEO Dr Jenny Donovan.

The research summary presents key findings from the project, with the full technical report providing more detailed information about the findings and the methods used for the research. Both are available on the AERO website.

Family Day Care Tax Tips Webinar - Recording Available for Members

Did you plan on tuning in for last week’s special Family Day Care Tax Webinar, but weren’t able to catch the live stream?

Don’t worry, FDCA members can access a recording of the webinar via their FDCA Member Zone.

The webinar features special guest Ben Mueller, Director and Principal Accountant with FDC Tax. Ben discusses a number of topics, including:

  • A 2024 Tax update for Family Day Care
  • Getting the best value from your accountant
  • 2024 Tax Cuts
  • What can I claim?
  • How much should I save for tax and super

To access the recording of the webinar, click here.

Reminder: Child Care Subsidy Rates Increasing from 8 July

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) rates are increasing from 8 July 2024.

CCS rates are adjusted each July based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the previous December, resulting in an increase of the CCS family income thresholds and hourly rate caps.

The new rates take effect from 8 July 2024, which is the start of the first CCS fortnight in the new financial year.

The new hourly rate cap for family day care is $13.24 for below school age and school age children.

The full CCS rate changes are available to view here on the Department of Education website.

The inequitable disparity in the CCS hourly rate cap remains a significant advocacy point for FDCA as evidenced by our recent submissions to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Early Childhood Education and Care and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Childcare Inquiry, which can be accessed here.

Earlier this year the ACCC, released its final report into early childhood education and care (ECEC) services which, amidst a strong hearing for family day care, affirms our long-held position that the CCS fee cap for family day care is inadequate, and making the following recommendation (#2a):

“Determining an appropriate base for the hourly rate cap and indexing the cap to more closely reflect the input costs relevant to delivery of childcare services. This could include consideration of labour costs. As part of this, the family day care and in home care hourly rate caps should be reviewed and consideration given to increasing them. This should ensure providers can adequately cover costs, including appropriate labour costs.”

FDCA is hopeful that this issue will finally be appropriately addressed in the Productivity Commission’s Final Report, which is due to be delivered to Government on 30 June 2024, as this is the mechanism by which key policy decisions relating to CCS will be made over the coming years.

Reminder: Educators ‘Working Towards’ Certificate III Must Complete by 1 July 2024

From 1 July 2023, changes to the minimum qualifications for family day care educators came into effect, with educators now being required to hold an approved Certificate III level (or higher) qualification prior to commencing their role in a family day care service and cannot be ‘actively working towards’ a qualification.*

However, existing educators currently engaged at a family day care service and who are currently ‘working towards’ their Certificate III qualification have until 1 July 2024 to complete their qualification. This provision does not apply to FDC educators in South Australia as FDC educators in South Australia must hold an approved Certificate III level (or higher) qualification prior to commencing their role in a FDC service.

Waivers for staffing requirements will continue to be available. If by 1 July 2024, educators do not hold an approved Certificate III level (or higher) qualification, the approved provider can apply for a waiver. The regulatory authority may consider granting the waiver if it is satisfied that the approved provider has reasonable justification for not being able to comply with regulation 127. For more information on waivers visit the ACECQA website.

* Please check the legislation for commencement dates in Western Australia