Payment of Fees

Purpose
To provide procedures for the setting, payment and collection of fees
Providing responsible financial management that will result in a financial viable service, setting fees that balance the parent’s capacity to pay, with providing a high-quality program and maintaining service viability

Scope
These guidelines will apply to the Approved provider, nominated supervisor, educational leader, supervisors, educators, staff, students on placement, volunteers, parents/guardian, children and others attending the service.

Objective
To ensure that the fees charged is reasonable and affordable for both the educators and parents/guardians
To ensure the educators are paid on time by the parents/guardians
To ensure that the admin levy is paid by the parents/guardians

Policy
At FIRST IDEA FAMILY DAY CARE SERVICES, we are committed to ensuring sound practices are in place and are in accordance with the Childcare Management System (CCMS) to ensure that families receive the appropriate rebates and the scheme’s claims are in accordance with correct usage and attendances. We recognise the current system is in place to support working and studying families; with the continually growing cost of accessing child care we will act ethically and responsibly at all times in relation to claiming and accepting Federal and State Government funds to support families and children. We are also committed to ensuring that attendances and other records related to the financial gain of the service are an accurate record and understand that falsifying records is a crime.

PROCEDURES
Approved Providers and delegates are responsible for:

  • Checking the accuracy of attendance records received from educators before submitting data to the CCMS
  • Setting the fee schedule – based on actual related charges (no additional charges will be added to families in acceptance of JETCCFA, Special child care benefit (SSB), or Grandparent Child Care Benefit (GCCB)
  • Ensure that the parents/guardians are notified at least 14 days prior to any change that will affect the fees charged or the way fees are collected.
  • Setting the same amount of administration levy for all the educators
  • Public holidays remain payable
  • Reviewing fees and fees policy annually
  • Accurate attendance Records will only be processed if they are completed fully and include:
  • the child’s given and family name (Where the given and family name is the same for more than one child, the child’s CRN must be listed as well);
  • the Educator’s name;
  • the name of the family member who’s Customer Reference Number (CRN) is being used for CCB;
  • the time the child entered and left service, along with the signature of the person delivering and/or collecting the child
  • any changes or alterations to sign in and out register are to be initialled by authorised family member, including casual bookings or casual extension of hours;
  • initial by an authorised family member for any ‘extras’ supplied (e.g. travel, meals, snacks);
  • a signature by the Educator acknowledging it to be a true and correct record; and
  • signature by an authorised family member acknowledging it to be a true and correct record
  • Checked and verified by the approved provider
  • Ensuring families receive a statement, at least quarterly of usage of education and care services, session times, any absences charged, CCB allocated and monies paid
  • Reporting correctly to the Child Care Management System (CCMS) to determine how much CCB, CCR or Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance (JETCCFA) is paid by the Australian Government for eligible families
  • Reporting any sessions where a child was absent, including the type of absence (sick, holiday etc)
  • The setting of fees will include all relegated costs to providing an education and care service to families, (i.e. Meals, snacks, resources, printing, running costs – electricity, insurances)
  • In the event of non-payment of fees, the service will initially attempt to arrange payment with the family. If those attempts are not successful, the nominated supervisor or delegate can direct the Educator to cease provision of care until payment has been made. Care will no longer be available if fees are even 1 week in arrears
  • Family day care service reserves the right to charge late fees for late or non-payment of fees. The current rate for late payment of fees is $30 per week, commencing from 5 days after the amount was due.
  • Services may engage the services of a debt collector if required, if non-payment after 3 months
  • Notifying families of any pending fee increased 4 weeks prior
  • Any fees charged by the Coordination Unit, including training, administration or other fees and levies, will be deducted from the amount of CCB, etc., paid to the Educator. These amounts will be shown on the Educator’s statement, or if paid by the family, on the family’s statement.
  • In the event of a Code Red Day being called, no care and education will be provided by an Educator whose residence has been identified as being at increased risk in the declared area. Children who have a permanent booking for the day which has been declared as a Code Red Day, will be charged as an Absence and the normal fee will be payable
  • Keeping relevant financial records of income and expenditure and records in relation to Child Care Benefit claims and also all financial information, invoices and records in relation to the operation of an education and care service
  • Ensuring the service remains financially viable and can meet its debts and other obligations as they fall due

Educators and educator assistants are responsible for:

  • Recording actual care sessions (how long can you provide a session) the child does not need to be in attendance for the whole session –If the session is offered as 9am to 4 pm but the parent collects their child at 2pm, the parent will be charged the entire session – 9am to 4pm
  • Record actual attendances at the service by ensuring the attendance record is completed and signed upon arrival and departure
  • Record absences for the scheduled sessions – absences require family’s signature at the attendance
  • Accepting fees on behalf of the scheme (gap fee) which will be receipted with the dates, session and any other related costs documented.
  • Educators will advise the scheme of under-payment, non-payment or late-payment of fees by families within 7 days of the fee being due

Families are required to:

  • Ensure the fee due is paid on the last day of the week the education and care is provided.
  • Make regular fee payments in accordance with the fee schedule and avoid late fees and non- payments
  • If having difficulty meeting fee payments, discuss this with educator to arrange for suitable arrangements to pay outstanding amounts
  • Ensure funds are available in order to clear all payments if entering into EFT
  • Ensuring all records are accurately completed – attendance records are only to be completed for ‘actual’ attendances and absences if the child did not attend a scheduled session

NATIONAL QUALITY FRAMEWORK

Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010

Education and Care Services National Regulations 2011

National Quality Area

National Quality Standard

161-175

158, 159, 160, 168, 172, 177,

178

6

6.1.1, 6.1.3

7

7.3.1, 7.3.3, 7.3.5

RELATED LEGISLATION

  • Family Assistance Act 1999
  • Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Information Privacy Act 2000
  • Privacy Act 2000 (Vic.)

RELATED POLICIES

  • Code of Conduct
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Confidentiality
  • Delivery and Collection of Children
  • Mentor, Support and Supervise Educators and Assistants
  • Provision of Information Training and Assistance
  • References and resources
  • Department of Education and Training (DET)
  • Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA)
  • Belonging, Being & Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia
  • My Time, Our Place – Framework for school age care in Australia
  • Early Childhood Australia – Code of Ethics
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Criminal History Requirements: Family day care
  • Guide for Family Day Care Educators
  • Delivering children’s programs in a family day care service
  • DEECD Emergency Management Guidelines
  • Protecting the Safety and Wellbeing of Children and Young People
  • Children’s Wellbeing Act 2005
  • Department of Education and Training – Child Care Service Handbook
  • Australian Government – Child care information
  • Department of Social Services – Child Care Fee Discounting Fact Sheet _fee_discounting.pdf
  • Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations- Obligations and expectations of Family day care educators
  • Department of Education and Training – Fact Sheet Kit for Families Using Child Care
  • Department of Education and Training – Key obligations of a Family day care service

REVIEW

POLICY REVIEWED

July 2018

NEXT REVIEW DATE

July 2019

MODIFICATIONS

Policy created for First Idea Family Day Care Services, inclusive of changes to the National Quality Standards and Education and Care National Regulations

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