Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk announces shutdown details for Christmas period

Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk announces shutdown details for Christmas period

by Freya Lucas

December 15, 2020

The Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk will close for the 2020-21 Christmas and New Year period from 12:30 pm (AEDT) Thursday 24 December 2020 to 9:00 am (AEDT) Monday 4 January 2021. 

 

Data submitted to the Child Care Subsidy System will be processed throughout the Christmas and New Year period and will be visible through third-party software or the Provider Entry Point (PEP).

 

Session reports submitted on the following dates may experience short delays in processing or payment due to public holidays:

 

  • Wednesday 23 December 2020
  • Thursday 24 December 2020
  • Friday 25 December 2020
  • Monday 28 December 2020
  • Friday 1 January 2021.

 

As a requirement of Family Assistance Law, any service which is closing, or changing operating hours over the holiday period must notify the helpdesk within 14 days.Penalties may apply for services who fail to inform the helpdesk about changes within the specified timeframe.

 

Notification of changes can be made through the relevant third-party software provider or the PEP. For assistance in using the PEP, refer to the how to update organisation details in PEP task card. 

 

In the event that a service chooses to close early on Christmas Eve, a notification of a shorter session of care must be made. Session reports can only be submitted based on the hours in which a service is open and providing care, except for public holidays.

 

Up until 31 December 2020, the out of pocket fees for families enrolled in a service which is closed as a result of COVID-19 under a public health directive can be waived. 

 

Reporting attendances and absences

 

Services cannot report attendances for days on which they were closed, and can only report attendances for sessions of care during which a child was present. Absences cannot be reported on days when a service is closed, unless it is a public holiday.

 

A public holiday is not an additional absence reason. A child is only eligible for additional absences on a public holiday if all of the following apply:

 

  • the 42 initial absence days per financial year have been used;
  • it is a day the child normally attends care;
  • you have charged a fee;
  • one of the additional absence reasons applies (e.g. sickness); and,
  • written evidence supports the additional absence reason (e.g. a medical certificate), excluding for COVID-19 reasons until 31 December 2020.

 

Services that close over the holiday period

 

Services may make a business decision to charge families over a Christmas shutdown period. Families are not entitled to Child Care Subsidy for the days the service is closed.

 

However, services can report absences and receive Child Care Subsidy for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day public holidays if:

 

  • the family has been charged a fee for those days; and, 
  • the public holiday falls on a day that the child would normally be in care.

 

A table has been prepared by the helpdesk which explains the circumstances in which services can report an absence when closed.

 

Services that only close for public holidays

 

Services that provide care over the Christmas and New Year period and only close for public holidays should report attendances and absences as usual.

 

Again, a table has been prepared by the helpdesk to give further information.

 

More information on enrolments, attendance and absences is in the Child Care Provider Handbook.

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