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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The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) commends the Labor Party on their recent announcement to extend access to 15 hours per week of subsidised kindergarten/preschool to three-year-olds for the first time, if Bill Shorten wins the next federal election.
 
Mr Shorten has committed to giving both three and four-year-olds access to 600 hours of preschool or kindergarten in a $1.75bn funding commitment.
 

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The early learning sector has observed the issue of oversupply becoming more and more of a problem in recent years.

With few barriers to entry for new or existing providers to set up new centres, the saturation of childcare centres in certain geographic areas has led to many services experiencing lower utilisation  or  being squeezed out of business.

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On Wednesday 5th September, early learning service owners across Australia, along with the families using their services, celebrated Early Childhood Educators Day 2018
 
Whilst services and families chose to say thank you in their own special way, the one thing their activities all had in common was a sense of heartfelt appreciation. The warm sentiments and the sense of community was unifying.
 

ImpactCCSa

The early learning sector’s transition to the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) has been unprecedented for all stakeholders in terms of the complexity of the new processes, the challenging timelines and the unexpected outcomes. For early learning service providers, the task of preparing themselves for the new system and seeking to understand the impact of the changes both operationally and on families has been all consuming. 
 
ACA believes it is important to review the impact of the CCS to date and reflect on whether its implementation will improve early learning outcomes for children and families. Our aim is to identify areas for improvement, with a focus on equitable access to early learning for all Australian children as well as supporting the sustainability of the sector.
 

scam alert

ACA is warning our members and even non-members not to get tricked by a scam email appearing to originate from a Juliet Jurjenns at ACA NSW, with a link to an invoice, asking for payment - this email is a scam. It does not represent ACA NSW or ACA - it is a fraudulent representation designed to trick you into clicking on a link (possibly installing malware) and possibly giving a scammer your money.  

Please DO NOT to click on the link to the invoice - just mark the email as 'junk' and then DELETE the email.

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The Department of Education and Training (the Department) has informed ACA that it will manually process a significant number of sessions in which the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) was not applied, for ongoing families who were absent from care during the transition period.

This decision was made following the concerns raised by ACA and the sector, that the new system had denied many families their eligible subsidy based on a technical glitch.

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Over the last few months, the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) has been the main focus of the early learning sector, with the implementation date set for 2 July this year.

ACA ran a short sharp survey to ask our members how they were feeling about the impending implementation of the new Child Care Subsidy as the transition date approached, and the key areas for which they needed guidance. Many thanks to those of you who took the time to complete our quick quiz! 

 

Are you ready

The Department of Education and Training (DET) has recently sent out an email to remind early learning service providers that May 31st is the deadline to submit the online Transition Form for the new Child Care Subsidy.  According to DET, 30% of providers have not yet completed this process and as such are not yet ready for the introduction of the new Child Care Subsidy.

Service providers that haven't yet done this are urged to log onto the new Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) immediately to complete and submit their online Transition Form.

New CCS Estimator
 
The Department of Education and Training (DET) has recently announced two new developments surrounding the new Child Care Package and the new Child Care Subsidy:
 
1/ Online calculation of fortnightly $ support for families
Families can now calculate the level of fortnightly financial support they can expect to receive using Centrelink's Payment and Service Finder
 
This online tool will ask families a set of questions about their circumstances, in including their shared income and estimated hours of work/study along with the hourly rate of their particular Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) service, to provide an estimate of their fortnightly Child Care Subsidy. 
 

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The new Child Care Subsidy package, which will include a new payment known as the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), is due to be fully implemented on 2 July this year.

The CCS will replace the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR) and will be paid directly to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services on behalf of families.

As the changes surrounding this new package will affect more than 17,000 service providers across Australia and over 1.2 million families using ECEC services, ACA  has produced some simple educational materials to ensure that all of our members and their families understand what they need to do between now and July to ensure a successful transition to the new system. 

TAS draft policy

Following the Tasmanian Government's recent release of their Draft Policy to guide co-location of Early Childhood Education and Care and Department of Education Services, ACA Tasmania (ACA Tas) has written to the Department of Education, Minister for Education Jeremy Rockcliff and Shadow Minister for Education Michelle O'Byrne, expressing a number of concerns regarding the content.
 
ACA Tas believes that inadequate sector consultation in the initial development of the policy has created a poorly conceptualised policy with significantly confused strategic intent.
 

Project Rudolph Top Ryde Early Learning

The ACA would extends a heartfelt thank you to our stakeholders and members along with the kids, parents and staff who were involved in raising funds for our Project Rudolph initiative over the last few weeks.

We were delighted to receive some very colourfully decorated reindeer from the children who got involved to help others less fortunate!

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Last Wednesday ACA National held its Annual General Meeting, which included an election for the Executive Committee positions of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.
 
Following the election, Paul Mondo will serve again as National President, Nesha Hutchinson will return as Vice President, Kerry Mahony will remain as Treasurer and Ann Marie Chemello will continue as Secretary. 
 

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Following last year's success in raising funds for Project Rudolph, the ACA is proud to support this initiative again this year. Project Rudolph is a Christmas appeal which aims to deliver Christmas meal boxes to struggling Australian families.

The joint initiative between Aussie Farmers Direct and Australia’s largest hunger relief organisation, Foodbank, encourages Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services to get involved by organising their own fund-raising activities within their centres, and then forwarding the funds to the ACA to enable  a collective purchase of food boxes for this worthy cause.

Maggie Dent blog article 1a

When parents and early childhood educators work together to form positive, trusting relationships, they can make a real difference to young children’s lives. Unfortunately modern life doesn't make forming these relationships easy; many parents struggle to find the time in their working day to be present in their child's early learning environment.  

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has paired up with parenting and resilience specialist Maggie Dent, to help families and early learning services understand the importance of building these relationships, and the many benefits that these positive connections bring about for their children.