I can now provide a further update on the end date for the Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package (‘free childcare’ Package).
The Government has announced this Package will now end on 12 July 2020, and that from 13 July 2020 the former Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will recommence.
To support families as they return to normal hours of work or study the Government has also announced a more relaxed CCS Activity Test. From 13 July 2020 until 4 October 2020, people who previously received CCS but can no longer engage in the same hours of work, training, study or other recognised activity they engaged in immediately prior to the COVID-19 crisis can access 100 hours of subsidised care per fortnight. From 13 July 2020, families will be able to update their activity levels to access the 100 hours through either their Centrelink online account, myGov or the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.
For your assistance we have attached several Frequently Asked Questions the Federal Government has answered in relation to accessing the 100 hours.
We also strongly advise all families to check their CCS details are up to date as a matter of priority.
Families who have not yet applied for CCS should do so as soon as possible to ensure they can receive the Subsidy when fees commence. We also remind families who received CCS in 2018-19 to confirm your income with Centrelink. If you don’t do this by 30 June 2020, your CCS will stop from 13 July 2020. To confirm your income, you and your partner must either lodge your tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office, or complete an ‘Advise non-lodgement of tax return’ with Centrelink if you don’t need to lodge a tax return.
Please note that if you are experiencing financial difficulty, we encourage you to contact Centrelink to see if you’re eligible to receive a higher CCS percentage or the ACCS.
As per our Fees Policy, we require families to pay fees in advance from the 13th July & statements will be sent out on the 13th July. Payments will be processed on the afternoon of the 13th July, 2020. Fees will be directed debited from your account. We understand you may have concerns or questions in relation to returning to the previous fee-paying system, and Kelly in the Office or I would be only too happy to discuss these with you. Please don’t hesitate to speak with us.
Information for Families
The Government has announced the ‘free childcare’ Package will now end on 12 July 2020, and that from 13 July 2020 the former Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) will recommence. This means in most cases families will be required to pay fees again. To support families as they return to normal hours of work or study the Government has also announced a more relaxed CCS Activity Test.
How can eligible families get the 100 hours activity test result?
From 13 July 2020 until 4 October 2020, individuals who can no longer engage in the same number of hours of work, training, study or other activity recognised by the CCS activity test prior to the COVID-19 crisis, are entitled to an activity test result of 100 hours of subsidised child care per fortnight. These cohorts include:
- Individuals who are doing less recognised activity than they were immediately prior to COVID-19
- Individuals who are a member of a couple who are doing less recognised activity than they were immediately prior to COVID-19
- Individuals in receipt of carers allowance who have reduced any other recognised activity than what they were engaged in immediately prior to COVID-19.
From 13 July 2020, families will be able to advise Services Australia they meet these requirements to access the 100 hours. This can be done through their Centrelink online account through MyGov or the Express plus Centrelink mobile app.
No other CCS activity test requirements have been changed; however, the more hours of recognised activity families do, the more hours of subsidised care they can access, up to a maximum of 100 hours per fortnight for each child.
This result will not be backdated more than 28 days.
What do families need to do for their CCS to start again?
Families who were getting CCS before 6 April 2020, won’t need to do anything as long as they have remained eligible. Their CCS will start again automatically on 13 July 2020.
Families should check their details, like their family income estimate for 2020-21, to make sure they’re up to date.
If families are new to child care they should look into CCS now and claim as soon as possible. If families continue using child care from 13 July 2020 but aren’t receiving CCS, they’ll need to pay full fees.
Families who got CCS in 2018-19 and still haven’t confirmed their income for that financial year must do so by 30 June 2020. If they don’t, their CCS will not start again on 13 July 2020.
Can I get 100 hours of CCS per fortnight if I’m doing the same number of hours of recognised activity I did prior to the COVID-19 crisis and am entitled to less than 100 hours per fortnight?
The CCS activity test results have not changed for individuals who are still engaged in the same number of hours, or were engaged in less than eight hours of recognised activity prior to the COVID-19 crisis.
Can I get 100 hours of CCS per fortnight if I engaged in less than eight hours of recognised activity prior to the COVID-19 crisis?
The temporary easing of the activity test requirements is only for individuals who had an activity test result of more than zero prior to the COVID-19 crisis and can no longer engage in the same number of hours of recognised activity.
The more hours of recognised activity families do, the more hours of subsidised care they can access, up to a maximum of 100 hours per fortnight for each child. Hours spent engaging in different recognised activities can be combined together to determine your entitlement of subsidised hours.
Can my family now receive 100 hours per fortnight, even though prior to the COVID-19 crisis my partner’s lower CCS activity test result meant that my family was entitled to below 100 hours per fortnight?
From 13 July 2020 to 4 October 2020, a couple is now entitled to an activity test result of 100 hours of CCS per fortnight if:
- both partners had an activity test result of more than zero; and
- either partner can no longer engage in the same number of hours of activity as they did before the COVID-19 crisis.
Otherwise, the existing requirement remains where the hours of subsidised care the partner/couple is entitled to is determined by the person with the lowest number of hours of activity per fortnight.
Will my child/ren need to meet the immunisation requirements?
Your child must meet immunisation requirements if you receive CCS. To meet the requirements, all of your children need to do one of the following:
- meet the Childhood schedule on the Department of Health’s National Immunisation Program Schedule
- be on a suitable catch up schedule in line with the Department of Health’s current Australian Immunisation Handbook
- have an approved medical exemption  recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
If you received CCS and your child stops meeting these requirements, you have 63 days to start meeting them again. If you don’t, your subsidy will stop.
Source: Frequently Asked Questions
Department of Education, Skills and Employment
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