ANAO audit gives ECEC an opportunity to have its say about child care package

by Freya Lucas

March 06

The early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector has an opportunity to express its experiences with the Child Care Package, introduced to the sector in 2018, through an audit to be conducted by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).

 

The audit will assess the effectiveness of the Department of Education and Training’s design and implementation of the Child Care Package, and will seek to respond to two determining questions:

 

  1. Was the Child Care Package designed to support the achievement of the Australian Government’s policy objectives?
  2. Have sound arrangements been established and implemented to support the transition to and management of the Child Care Package?

 

The Child Care Package was introduced in 2018, with the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) replacing both the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. A range of changes were implemented alongside the introduction of CCS, including the removal of budget-based funding, hourly rate caps, and the introduction of an activity test, used to determine the number of hours of subsidised care to which a child was entitled. More information about the full Child Care Package is available here.

 

Feedback is sought from members of the sector wishing to contribute information for consideration when conducting performance audits. Performance audits involve the independent and objective assessment of the administration of an entity or body’s programs, policies, projects or activities. They also examine how well administrative support systems operate.

“We particularly value information that deals with significant matters or insights into the administration of the subject of this audit,” the ANAO said.

The ANAO pointed out that it does not have a role in commenting on the merits of government policy, rather, focusing on the efficient and effective implementation of government programs, including the achievement of their intended benefits.

 

Information is to be submitted electronically, either by web form, or through attaching files. Those choosing to submit information may choose to provide contact details, so they may be contacted in relation to their contribution.

 

The audit is currently open, and will cease collection 26 May 2019, with results due to be tabled November 2019. For further information, see here.

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