Unpacking: Waiver of Gap Fees

 

You can download the slides for the above 8m46s video presentation here.

 

Useful links:

 

Useful tips:

 

  • Waiver of gap fees is OPTIONAL.
  • This does not apply to families who do not receive CCS. That will be a business decision of the service in consultation with the parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • Refer to your bookkeepers/accountants to calculate the potential impact of waiver of gap fees before opting-in.
  • Considerations for a Fee Waiver Policy (including requirement for advance notice, partial/full waiver depending on positive COVID-19 test or number of absence days, applying it to some vs other parents/guardians).
  • Cessation of care rules still apply - if a child is not intending to return, then the CCS will be retrieved for any absences 7 days after the child's last day of physical attendance.
  • Should any ACA NSW member need further assistance and/or have suggestions for better outcomes, please contact the ACA NSW team on 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.

 

Dear ACA NSW members,

 

I wanted to reach out to reassure you that ACA’s national body is well aware the challenges that many of you are now facing under the existing lockdown measures affecting Greater Sydney, and we fully appreciate both the practical and emotional impact of these uncertain times on both you the service provider, your team of staff as well as your families.

 

Please be aware that we are working closely with ACA NSW President Lyn Connolly and ACA NSW CEO Chiang Lim to ensure our political engagement with the Federal Government accurately reflects the state of the sector in Greater Sydney and NSW, and accurately describes your immediate and ongoing needs in terms of government support.

 

Whilst it probably comes as no great comfort, ACA has overseen very similar ongoing conditions across the nation and specifically in Victoria throughout 2020. This experience has strengthened our working relationship with the Australian Government, opening the door for ongoing discussions about targeted support across Australia as the need arises.

 

We are grateful that the government has agreed to allow service providers in Greater Sydney the choice to waive the gap fee for those families with absent children. This change will take effect as of Monday, 19 July 2021. Please note that waiving the gap is at the discretion of the provider and that there may be circumstances where waiving gap fees is not viable.

 

It is important to note that you are still required to collect fees from children attending the service at this time meaning that for those of you with high attendance numbers the impact of gap fee waivers should not be very significant. We acknowledge that each set of circumstances are unique and we will work with the team at ACA NSW to understand where providers are significantly impacted and advocate for additional support.

 

In a practical sense, how you apply a gap fee waiver will depend on the CCS software you use. We therefore recommend that you contact your CCS software provider as soon as possible, or visit their support information, to understand how to put the gap fee waiver into effect and ensure that any conversations you have with your families are reflected in their invoices and/or payment records.

 

Many service providers may also qualify for the business support payments announced by the Prime Minister and NSW Premier a few days ago. We strongly encourage you to visit the COVID-19 Disaster Payment webpage to assess whether your service qualifies, and make the relevant applications or take the appropriate actions as soon as you can. Speak with you accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor to evaluate your eligibility.

 

It is also important to make sure your staff – teachers and educators - as well as families, are able to access further support from government. (Please refer to Financial support for individuals and households.)

 

The suitability of these additional business support payments is something we will continue to evaluate over the next week or so and ensure that should additional support be required we will advocate accordingly.

 

These can be challenging times for both the service providers and their teams of educators. It is in this context that we recommend you take all the self-care you need to ride through the many challenges that lockdown presents.

 

We will continue to engage with ACA NSW to monitor the situation and update the Australian Government in support of the NSW early learning sector as the weeks progress.

 

Paul Mondo

ACA National President

 

PUBLISHED: 16 JULY 2021

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