Transition pathways for Budget Based Funded services revealed through Senate questions

by Freya Lucas

December 06

The Federal Department of Education and Training has answered a number of questions recently put forward to the Senate Standing Committees on Education and Employment, as a function of the Budget Estimates 2018-2019, by Senator Jacinta Collins, in relation to services not transitioning to the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF).

 

Under previous funding arrangements, prior to the 2 July 2018 introduction of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), Budget Based Funded (BBF) services were funded by the Federal Government as part of the non-mainstream early childhood education and care (ECEC) program, with a number of those services supporting Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.

 

BBF services consisted of a diverse range of offerings, such as Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS), long day care services, mobile services, crèches, playgroups, out of school hours care (OSHC) services and vacation care services catering to the community, some of which are no longer eligible to receive CCS funding.

 

The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC) has in the past outlined that moving to a mainstream funding approach, such as through CCS, “will not work for BBF services as it is not a feasible or appropriate model through which to provide culturally-strong ECEC programs for families and communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage”.

 

The questions posed by Senator Collins sought to gather information about services who had not transitioned from the BBF model to the CCCF.

 

The CCCF is billed by the Federal Government as being “part of the new childcare package, providing grants to childcare services to reduce barriers to accessing childcare, particularly in disadvantaged, regional and remote communities.”


Senator Collins raised the following questions to the Department of Education and Training:

 

  •  Can the Department provide a list of the 135 services currently funded by the BBF program that are not transitioning to the CCCF?  

 

  •  Can the list indicate what the alternative delivery or funding arrangements (for example, different Department of Social Services) for each service?

 

  •  How much funding is being provided to the 135 services by the Department of Education and Training?

 

Answers put forward by the Department of Education and Training in response are as follows:

 

  • A list of all 244 BBF program services and their transition pathways from July 2018 is available.  The Department of Education and training noted that 109 BBF services not transitioning to the CCCF, rather than the 135 noted in the question.  

 

  • 135 BBF services will receive funding under the CCCF.  

 

  • As at 27 July 2018,16 BBF services have informed the Department of Education and Training that they have closed, identifying issues such as staff retention, declining demand, availability of alternate services and changes in service offering as the reason for closure.

 

  • Another three services have identified alternative funding sources.  

 

  • The following table summarises the transition pathways of all BBF services as at 27 July 2018.

 

Designation Number of Service Providers
Child Care Package with CCCF grant 135
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 65
Department of Social Services 25
Services have closed or identified their own alternative funding 19
Total 244

 

  • $55.3 million over four years has been transferred from the CCCF to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Social Services for the non-childcare BBF services that have transferred to these agencies from 2 July 2018.

 

A full transcript is available to review here including the full list of 244 services, and the breakdown of their transitions.

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