On June 8, 2020, the Education Minister announced the return to the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), with payments re-commencing as of July 13, 2020.
The COVID-19 situation has resulted in a challenging economic climate for our country. As we all work to navigate our way through the new normal, we know some families may require assistance regarding understanding the options available to them.
Our ultimate purpose is to ensure all our families have all the tools and information at their disposal to feel confident in their children’s continued journey in early childhood education. We are eager to welcome back all families to their centres and re-establish those close connections. This announcement also means that we are now able to welcome more bookings at our centres to cater to your full requirements.
Please refer to our latest information to below, and other valuable resources for your reference.
How to get ready for returning to CCS
As per the announcement, the Government will be easing the activity test from 13 July to 4 October 2020 to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. These families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.
Job hunting, studying, starting a new business and volunteering – among others – are all eligible activities that will allow you to claim subsidised hours of care, even if your personal circumstances have changed. Please look at your Activity Statement in your Centrelink account and update these details to ensure you are maximising your subsidy.
Families who received CCS and who may not have completed a tax return for the 2018-19 period will need to confirm their income for that financial year by 30 June 2020, for their CCS to continue.
Parents and their partners can confirm their income with Centrelink by either:
- Lodging your tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office, or:
- Completing an ‘Advise non-lodgement of tax return’ with Centrelink, if you don’t need to lodge a tax return.
Please arrange to do this by 30 June 2020, otherwise Centrelink will stop your CCS from 13 July 2020 (the start of the next CCS and financial year). This will not start again until you have confirmed your income, so completing one of the above will prevent your CCS from being stopped by Centrelink.
Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS)
ACCS provides support to families experiencing a significantly reduced ability to pay child care fees, such as if a parent has lost income due to being unable to attend work.
This can be applied for via Centrelink and MyGov. Click HERE to download an easy application guide.
Upon the original commencement of CCS, G8 Education released our Flexible Hours which is part of our commitment to providing greater access to quality early childhood education and care. You can choose from our nine-hour, ten-hour or full day sessions and make the most out of the Child Care Subsidy.
These options are designed to support families by increasing access to subsidised care, thus reducing out of pocket expenses, and are still available to all our families. Feel free to chat to your Centre Manager should you think this is the best option for you, or click here to read all about flexible hours.
Preschool Exemption Program
If your child is currently enrolled in our Government Approved Preschool or Kindergarten programs this comes with a CCS exemption that is available for preschool-aged children, whose CCS subsidy is less than 24 hours per fortnight. You are able to access 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if you:
- Would usually be entitled to less than 36 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight because you do not meet the activity test; and
- Have a preschool-aged child attending an early education program at a centre-based day care service.
A preschool-aged child is one who is in the year before primary school e.g. if a child is starting school in February 2021, the child is deemed preschool-aged from February 2020. Click here for more information via the Federal Government FAQ page.
Families receive 42 allowable absences per Australian financial year (July-June). Families will therefore see their absence totals adjust back to zero, and this will be reflected in your Xplor financial statement.
Changes to bookings
Families should already have a Written Agreement (CWA) in place with your centre.
However, if your family requires a change in your booking patterns through any addition or reduction of days, please be sure to confirm these to your centre as soon as possible.
A minimum of two weeks’ notice is required, and CCS and fee adjustments will apply and be added to your account. Your CWA will need to be updated by the Centre and a new CWA will be issued for approval by the child’s primary carer.
If your family is ineligible for CCS, the centre will create a Relevant Agreement for you to approve in place of a CWA.
Families are able to view your current CWA on both the Xplor Home App and on the Xplor website.
Need to commence care?
We are steadfast in our commitment to ensure your children thrive through learning for life.
If you are a new family looking to find out more about how to enrol and make your subsidy work for you, please contact our Family Care Team on 1800 517 029.