Family Assistance Act Changes - Improving Access for Vulnerable and Disadvantaged Families
Following feedback from the early education and (ECEC) care sector, some changes have been made to the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999 regarding access to Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) for child wellbeing.
These amendments are designed to improve access to ACCS and assist vulnerable and disadvantaged families, and include:
- Backdating of ACCS (child wellbeing) certificates and determinations extended, from 28 days to up to 13 weeks in exceptional circumstances;
- Extension of time period in which ACCS determinations can be made for certain children, such as children on a long-term protection order; and
- Additional eligibility for service providers to claim ACCS for foster children.
FDCA supports these changes and the reduced administrative burden for service providers caring for children from vulnerable and disadvantaged families. To find out more about the changes, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victorian Recovery Roadmaps for Metro and Regional Areas
From 11:59pm on 13 September, some restrictions will be eased across Victoria. Regional Victoria and Melbourne Metro each have their own roadmaps relating to how many active cases are currently in the community.
The following bullet points outline the major upcoming changes to early childhood education and care (ECEC) restrictions within Metro and Regional Victoria.
For a complete description of the forecast changes to restrictions, please visit the Victorian Government website here.
METRO First Step (First Step only applies to Metro Melbourne) – Commences 11:59pm on Saturday 13 September
- Childcare and schools continue remote and flexible learning with on-site supervision for children of permitted workers.
METRO Second Step – Commences From Monday 28 September if Average Daily Case Rate Improves
- Childcare will open from 28 September, standalone (sessional) kindergarten programs from Monday 5 October in line with Term 4;
- ECEC services, including long day care and family day care, with a COVIDSafe Plan should open on-site for all children, with appropriate risk mitigation measures in place (unless instructed by DHHS to close); and
- Permitted Worker Permits to enable on-site attendance are no longer required.
REGIONAL Second Step – Commences 11:59pm on Saturday 13 September
- Childcare is open to all children; and
- Schools return to onsite learning from Term 4 with safety measures.
National Child Protection Week
6-12 September is National Child Protection Week. To mark the 30th anniversary of this campaign, this year’s theme is "Putting Children First".
This week, NAPCAN is encouraging all Australians to look at how they can prioritise children in their lives and communities to ensure they thrive.
The safety and wellbeing of children is central to the early childhood education and care sector. If you would like to know more about the work of NAPCAN, or to look at how you can host your own National Child Protection Week event, please visit their website.
Leading Wellbeing with Be You
FDCA was delighted to take part in the “Leading Wellbeing” online event last Thursday 3 September, hosted by Be You.
This event brought together 151 family day care service coordinators, managers and leaders with the aim of increasing awareness of the importance of mental health among educators, service staff, children and families, and exploring ways to facilitate environments that support their mental health and wellbeing.
FDCA representative Michael Farrell, National Advocacy and Engagement Manager, spoke to the positive correlation between educator wellbeing and the ability to be more responsive, thoughtful and respectful in building strong relationships with children.
In particular, he highlighted that a collaborative approach to mental health and wellbeing is integral to building quality family day care services that foster healthy and resilient educators.
Be You offers service leaders tools, guidance and practical strategies to further grow a professional learning community committed to improving the mental health and wellbeing of their staff, educators and the children they care for.
FDCA encourages our members to visit the Be You website and find out more about how to participate in building mentally healthy communities.
Department of Education, Skills and Employment - Website Feedback
The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) are developing a new departmental website and are looking for feedback from users of the current website to assist in this process.
The survey takes 5 to 7 minutes to complete and will ensure that DESE has information from real users to enhance the site’s usability.
FDCA encourages our members to visit this link and provide your thoughts.