FDCA - Representing You in 2021

FDCA - Representing You in 2021

Today we bring you the first instalment in Family Day Care Australia's (FDCA) three-part series sharing with you some of our Key Initiatives and projects over the year that’s been.

These initiatives and projects have fallen in-line with FDCA’s Strategic Plan, with the core goals being to represent, support and promote the family day care sector.

They have been designed to result in impacts that will not only provide tangible benefits to our members, but assist in reaching FDCA's vision of making family day care the natural choice for more Australia families.

As your national peak body, we are uniquely positioned to develop and deliver broadly representative policy positions through consultative and evidence-based advocacy efforts.

In recognition of this, we have had two specific goals for representing the sector across 2021:

  • Provide strong leadership, a united national voice and future directions for family day care through effective, broadly representative, consultative and evidence-based advocacy on key policy issues; and
  • Champion a political, policy and regulatory environment that embraces the uniqueness, importance and capabilities of family day care and enables a strong, viable, accessible and evolving sector.

In this bulletin we highlight how FDCA has been Representing You through our Key Initiatives and projects across 2021.

Sector Viability Advocacy Strategy – Phase 2

Following on from our previous Sector Viability Strategy and the significant progress madein terms of engagement with regulators and policy decision makers at departmental and Ministerial levels, FDCA has been committed to a continuationof our Sector Viability Strategy in Phase 2.

FDCA has focused on key policy positions, including a recalculation of the feecap as outlined in our 2021 Pre-Budget Submission, and targeted workforce support to promote growth and ongoing viability as outlined in our Pre-Election Policy Commitments paper.

Additionally, as part of the 2019 NQF Review process, the Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (CRIS) was released in February 2021 and in April 2021 FDCA made a formal submission to the CRIS which was informed by national consultation with our members and underpinned by FDCA’s strongly held position that we do not support any regulatory changes that will further restrict the viability of the family day care sector or limit the capacity for legitimate growth.

FDCA has also continuedto represent the sector on a range of advocacy and engagement groups and bodies, including:

  • The Australian Government Early Childhood Education and Care Reference Group (ECECRG)
  • The National ECEC Workforce Strategy Stakeholder Reference Group
  • The SkillsIQ - Children's Education and Care Industry Reference Committee for the Training Package Review
  • The Distributed Leadership National Project Network
  • State Regulatory Authority Advisory Bodies
  • The Everymind "MindsTogether" Family Day Care Reference Group
  • The National Nutrition Network

Family Day Care Contractor Model

The Australian Government’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic over 2020 and 2021 resulted in a number of unintended consequences for the family day care sector.

One significant issue identified was uncertainty within sector and governmentlevels around the structure of the independent contractor model and how it applies to family day care.

Given the independent contractor model is central to the delivery of family daycare, FDCA engaged Deloitte undertake a comprehensive analysis of the model under tax law, Family Assistance Law, the National Quality Framework (NQF) and contract law.

This report confirmed that the qualitative benefits family day care provides, including flexibility, autonomy, non-standard hours care, simply could not be achieved under an employer/employee model, and the imposition of an employee model would likely result in over-all cost increase to families, if the model sought to maintain the qualitative benefits of family day care.

From this report, FDCA, in partnership our expert legal partners Clyde & Co, developed the Educator Agreement Template for members to utilise in reviewing their educator agreements, or implementing a new agreement entirely, with the overarching goal of strengthening the independent contractor model and improving consistency across the sector. FDCA has also committed to developing subcontractor guidance which will be rolled out to educators/approved servicesto communicate best practice around relief educators, which, following on from consultation with members, will be developed and rolled out in 2022.

Election Policy Commitments for the Family Day Care Sector

Following nation-wide consultation with our members in October 2021, FDCA recently putforward our Request for Election Policy Commitments for the Family Day Care Sector, ahead of the 2022 federal election.

FDCA’s Election Policy Commitments is a chance to provide the Leaders of Australia’s major political parties, along with relevant Ministers and Shadow Ministers, with a proposed series of targeted initiatives that will increasethe capacity of the family day care sector and ensure long-term viability.

FDCA will inform members ofthe policy commitments the major parties are willing, or unwilling, to commit to, which will assist in informing members’ decision at the next federal election.

Our Election Policy Commitments are focused on a few core objectives, including:

  • increased affordability of family day care;
  • increased women’s workforce participation and economic security;
  • regional Economic development;
  • flexibility;
  • ECEC workforce support; and
  • greater accessibility for children with additional needs.

We look forward to the next part of this series where we will explore our efforts across the year in Promoting You.