Submit your Session Reports by 8 August
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is reminding providers that they have until 8 August to submit session reports to Services Australia for the 2020–21 Child Care Subsidy (CCS) year.
It is essential to finalise reports by this deadline so that family CCS entitlements for the 2020-21 financial year can be reconciled.
It's critical to meet the 8 August deadline because after this date the Child Care Subsidy System will be closed for the 2020–21 CCS year and you will then be unable to submit, vary or withdraw session reports for any period of care between 13 July 2020 and 30 June 2021.
ACECQA shares National Workforce Strategy consultation findings
As part of its work to coordinate a new 10 year National Workforce Strategy for the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector, the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) conducted extensive public consultations throughout May 2021 on the issues affecting the supply, retention and quality of the ECEC workforce.
An online survey was a key element in these consultations, drawing a total of 3,800 survey responses. Most (90%) respondents worked in a children’s education and care service, with two-thirds (67%) working in long day care, followed by 18% working in pre-school / kindergarten, 7% in Out of School Hours Childcare and just under 5% working in family day care.
The key findings have now been published by ACECQA and reveal that the three most important focus areas were felt to be: 1) Professional recognition ; 2) Attraction and retention; and 3) Wellbeing. Furthermore the most important action overall was identified as : Investigate options for improving professional standing, and workforce pay and conditions, including examining the associated barriers and constraints.
Importantly, the survey revealed that while just under two-thirds (65%) of respondents indicated that they intend to stay in the sector for more than five years, those intending to leave sooner highlighted administrative burden, workload, burnout and retirement as key contributors to their decision.
The findings from the public consultations are informing ongoing discussions with national sector stakeholders, including Family Day Care Australia, with the final strategy due to be considered by Education Ministers in the second half of this year.
The full set of findings published by ACECQA can be found here.
Guide to ACCS (child wellbeing) updated
The Department has updated the Guide to Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) (child wellbeing) to reflect changes that took effect on 1 July 2021.
The guide contains information for providers and services involved in the administration of ACCS (child wellbeing). Changes to ACCS (child wellbeing) include:
- extending the backdating period from 28 days to 13 weeks (in exceptional circumstances)
- extending the determination period for children in foster care from 13 weeks to 12 months
- changes in the CCS system to Provider Eligible Enrolments (now Provider Eligible Arrangements, or PEA).
You can read more about the specifics of these changes on the DESE website here.
If you have any questions about the changes to the ACCS guide, email the Department at email@example.com.
Early Learning Matters Week
This week (26-30 July 2021) marks the fourth year of Early Learning Matters Week.
The week brings early childhood educators, families, politicians and the broader community together to raise awareness about the importance of early learning.
Now in its fourth year, Early Learning Matters Week is a great opportunity for advocates (of all ages and areas of Australia) to share how high-quality early education and care supports children in being confident, enthusiastic learners and builds a foundation for wellbeing and achievement throughout their lives.
Hundreds of early learning services across the country will take part by sharing photos, videos and written messages and by inviting federal and state members of parliament to visit their service face-to-face, where COVID restrictions permit, or virtually.
Visit the Early Learning Matters Week website to find out more and follow #EarlyLearningMatters and #EarlyLearningMattersWeek on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.