The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.

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Increased competition in the early learning sector, along with an oversupply of services in some areas, has led many centres to develop strong branding and marketing campaigns.
Marketing is more relevant in the early learning sector than ever, as individual services strive to offer a point of difference from their competitors and make their offer even more appealing.

In this context, some centres have even offered incentives for families to enrol with them, such as iPads or other tablets/electronic devices. This practice has recently attracted media attention, with discussions about it featuring on Australia's breakfast television shows and also in the newspapers

If your early learning service is offering some sort of incentive for families to enrol, it is important to consider the relevant laws before doing so.

The Department of Education has recently released an update about this topic, and have reiterated their previous advice on this matter; early learning services (approved providers) must make sure their commercial practices comply with Family Assistance Law and all other legal requirements.

CCS is an entitlement for families and is paid only to reduce their child care fees. While families’ CCS is paid directly to their child care provider, the approved provider is required by law to pass on the full subsidy amount to the family as a fee reduction.

Providers are reminded that they are required by law to report accurate details about each session of care, including the actual fee charged.

This means if a parent is not charged any fee (or a lower than usual fee), as part of an incentive/offer, the provider must accurately reflect this in the relevant session report/s.

Providers must also ensure their arrangements with parents, including any incentives offered, comply with relevant state or territory consumer protection laws.

The Department encourages service providers to contact the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Helpdesk on 1300 667 276 or refer to the liability for payment section of the Child Care Provider Handbook for further information.

If you become aware of unethical practices we encourage you to notify the Department’s Tip Off Line on 1800 664 231 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..