For the benefit of members of the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW, the following are answers to members' frequently asked questions.
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INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS RELATED FAQs

IR-01 How are the levels of progressions calculated?
IR-02 What are the employer’s rights if an employee resigns with no minimum notice period?
IR-03  How much notice does an employee need to provide which resigning?
IR-04 What does a five year trained teacher mean?
IR-05 How do I know which category I pay my Early Childhood Teacher who is appointed as the services’ director?
IR-06  How much time is required to be given to employees for non-contact (programming) time?
IR-07 Am I meant to pay employees for staff meetings?
IR-08 I am employing an employee to cover parental leave which type of employment agreement contract do I issue?
IR-09 What is Personal / Carers leave? And what are the minimum entitlements?
IR-10  Are Personal / Carers leave accrual rolled over to following year?
IR-11 When employees entitled to a meal are break & rest pause?
IR-12 What are the minimum hours a casual can be rostered for?
IR-13 Can an employee who holds an approved Diploma qualification be employed and paid as one who holds a Certificate III?
IR-14 If my service starts to slow down and I have low attendances, can I make staff take annual leave?
IR-15 Can I reduce the hours my casual staff are working as my service slows down?
IR-16 To keep staff employed, should I ask my employees to consider other arrangements such as reduced hours, as an alternative to redundancy?
IR-17 If necessary, do the normal rules on redundancy/stand downs still apply during the COVID-19 pandemic?
IR-18 I have a staff member who has been in contact with someone who has been tested positive to COVID-19. Do I send them home and if so, do I have to pay them?
IR-19 Can I require my employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to work?
IR-20 What if my contract of employment is silent on this matter?
IR-21 What is the recommended approach if requiring vaccination?
IR-22 Do some employees have the ability to refuse vaccination?
IR-23 How can I lawfully collect information about employee vaccination status?
IR-24 Can an employer ask employees to disclose their vaccination status?
IR-25  What if I am covered by the Privacy Act and want to keep a record of an employee’s vaccination status?
IR-26  Can an employer compel employees to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status, or provide proof of their vaccination status?
IR-27  What happens to an employee who cannot work because they are unvaccinated and are prohibited from working by Public Health Orders?

 

REGULATIONS AND NATIONAL LAW FAQs

RL-01 What is the required indoor and outdoor encumbered square metre?
RL-02 What are the requirements for fencing?
RL-03  Can I employ an employee working towards a qualification under the age of 18 and be counted in ratio?
RL-04 Does an employee under the age of 18 years require a working with children check?
RL-05 What is the Educator to child ratio?
RL-06  Must educators be covered when on Meal breaks, rest pauses and programing time?
RL-07 How many diplomas’ must I have rostered on?
RL-08 Is there a regulation that requires two people on open and close a service?
RL-09 What are the Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) requirements in NSW?
RL-10  What are the criteria for a person working towards early childhood degree to be qualified to apply for a waiver?
RL-11 Does my educational leader need to be an ECT?
RL-12 Who can be appointed as a responsible person / nominated supervisor?
RL-13 What are the current and approved Child Protection Training courses?
RL-14 How long must children, staff records and other documents must be kept and for ?
RL-15 When do you commence the count for 60 days in any 12 month period when and Early Childhood Teachers
is absent from the centre-based service due to short-term illness or leave?

 

START STRONG AND AFFORDABLE PRESCHOOL FUNDING FAQs

SS-01 Given the funding follows the child, which service will actually receive the fund when a parent (innocently) submits the completed declaration form through two or more services? Will it be the service where the corresponding declaration form was received last? And what are the potential complications if the services are of different settings, ie at least one is a long daycare service, and at least another is a community preschool?
SS-02 The official Guidelines (Section 3.1) refer to a representative week (23-29 May 2022). It also does say that adjustments in funding to reflect variations will be applied by the end of 2023. Given the funding is distributed quarterly, can such adjustments be also done quarterly? And what is the process to advise the Department of the need for such adjustments before each quarter?
SS-03  When will the data link between the NSW Department of Education and the Federal Government’s CCS platform be ready such that enrolment and attendance data will be received/adjusted by the NSW Department of Education before each next quarter for accurate-enough funding distribution purposes?
SS-04 Assuming that NSW services will likely emulate VIC services in terms of the CCMS software recording, use and reporting of data in relation to these funds (e.g. the documenting of fee relief in parents’ regular statements (Section 4.7)), when will the process and procedures be anticipated to be released by the CCMS software vendors?
SS-05 There are still a number of community/mobile preschools that are inferring to their parents that the NSW Government will be continue to provide free preschools beginning January 2023 onwards. While that is potentially a decision for them, is the NSW Department of Education providing any additional direct advice that the free preschools funding is ending on 31 December 2022?
SS-06  If a parent has a child at two separate services and they sign a declaration for both services (unbeknown to each service) and both services receive the funding is one of the services responsible for refunding this money to the department?
SS-07 Is Transition to School Statement compulsory as of 2022 for each child who will be transitioning to school in 2023?
SS-08 Is the Department mandating that I cannot increase my fees? How can I increase my fees for operational purposes and justify it?
SS-09 How do I show to the NSW Department of Education that I am using the funds correctly?
SS-10 Must I use the new funding knowing that a child is not ready for a preschool program?
SS-11 What if a child benefits from the (new) Start Strong funding and Affordable Preschool funding but does not go to school the next year?
SS-12 In the official Guidelines (under Section 2.2), one of the requirements of children’s eligibility is that the child must be listed in the Australian Government’s Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) before it can receive such funding. But if the child is ineligible for CCS, does that mean that child will not receive Start Strong or Affordable Preschool funding in a long daycare service? Your Case Study #2 for LDC 2023 suggests that the child will still receive the Affordable Preschool funding component (https://education.nsw.gov.au/content/dam/main-education/early-childhood-education/operating-an-early-childhood-education-service/current-service-providers/start-strong-funding/Calculating_Fee_Relief_Payment.pdf) but seems to imply the same child does not get the (new) Start Strong funding component. Which is it?
SS-13 There seems to be confusion over the 2 representative weeks outlined – ie 23-29 May 2022 vs 2-8 August 2021. Can you please elaborate how the two different weeks are used?
SS-14 How are long daycare service to report/prove that their early childhood teachers and educators are delivering their preschool programs to children? How will the NSW Department of Education monitor when early childhood teachers and educators deliver their preschool programs? And can you define the term “deliver” in logistical terms?
SS-15 Can the (new) Start Strong and Affordable Preschool fundings still be used for eligible children in the period between typically the end of one year and just before school starts (ie potentially 27 December to the day before kindergarten starts)?
SS-16 Apparently, there was an e-mail broadcast asking (at least) long daycare services to agree to the terms and conditions by 13 January 2023 and not 31 January 2023 as outlined in Section 3.3.


PUBLISHED: 17 JUNE 2019

UPDATED: 06 DECEMBER 2022