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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support THE mental health & wellbeing OF YOUR staff
 

We're proud to offer early learning service providers a high-quality EAP 

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has proudly to partnered with LifeWorks in order to offer the early learning sector a high-quality Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at a fraction of the usual cost

LifeWorks are the most trusted mental health and wellbeing partner to over 15,000 organizations around the world.

 

We chose LifeWorks because they offer a comprehensive modern Employee Assistance Program (EAP) which aims to destigmatise mental health issues and offer a more holistic approach.

In addition to professional counselling and therapy services, LifeWorks offers your team of staff access to ongoing proactive health advice, via a range of interactive digital tools such as a mobile app and website resources.

 

Importantly, LifeWorks offers personalised solutions with a tailored level of support that individuals are comfortable with, when and how they choose it. 

The impact of mental health issues on the workplace

While lifestyle factors including work, diet, drugs and lack of sleep can all affect one's mental health, those struggling with a mental health problem are often experiencing additional factors.

Life experiences such as serious illness or a death in the family, family or marital problems, physical health problems, social isolation, study or work stress can all have an impact on the mental health of your team members.

If mental health issues among your team are not addressed, they can eventually lead to high absenteeism, lost productivity and high staff  turnover.

You may be interested to know that ACECQA's Ten Year Workforce Strategy includes an entire focus area on wellbeing (Focus Area 4 on page 52), which calls for research into practical mental health strategies for employees that work and the promotion of these wellbeing supports. 

How can service providers foster positive mental health for their team? 

As an employer, you can implement strategies for a healthy workplace which promote the mental and physical wellbeing of your staff and also provide support to anyone who may be experiencing mental health issues.

 

A very important part of your strategy to foster a mentally healthy workplace includes offering your staff access to an EAP, which aims to enhance mental health and wellbeing, maximise productivity and improve organisational culture. 

 

By improving your team members' lives and wellbeing, they will be happier, healthier, and ultimately more engaged and productive at work.

What exactly is an
Employee Assistance Program?

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is an external service, paid for by the employer, to ensure their employees and their families have access to professional assistance for personal or work-related issues that are impacting on their employment or work performance.

 

The EAP usually offers your team of staff a suite of practical services such as counselling or therapy from psychologists, social workers and other mental health professionals along with practical everyday life support including general health advice and programs. A comprehensive EAP can even include legal services and financial management or debt support.

 

 

What about the privacy of my staff?

 

Any EAP benefits received by employees or family members remain confidential

 

This means that while the employer pays for the service, they have no insight into an employee's specific use of the service.

 

That is, employers do not get to know who is utilizing the service, what the reasons are for, or how often employees call.

 

This is an important detail, as it means that employees can trust that they are engaging with a private, confidential service.

 

 

 

What is the usual cost of an EAP?

EAP services are offered at no cost to the employees - it is the employer who pays for the service.

 

Under most EAP packages to employers, the employer pays an annual subscription fee and sometimes additional charges depending on the service being accessed by the staff, such as the counselling service (which can be face-to-face or a telehealth service).

 

Generally the EAP subscription fee to the employer can range from $2,000 - $5,000 annually, with an additional average cost of approximately $90 a year per employee. The total cost to the business will vary depending on the number of staff employed. As an example, for a business that has 30 staff, the annual cost for an EAP would work out to approximately $5,000 to $8,000 a year.


In the context of the challenging times for the early learning sector as well as for the entire Australian community over the last few years, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is committed to addressing the mental health needs of our sector. We know that larger service providers are in a stronger position to be able to afford an EAP service, whereas smaller service providers are less likely to have the financial capacity to take one on. 

What is the cost of the ACA/LifeWorks EAP ongoing offer?

Our partnership with LifeWorks means that we can offer an ongoing high-quality EAP package to the early learning sector at a fraction of the usual annual cost.

 

 

The ACA/LifeWorks EAP Pricing Structure

The 12-month annual subscription fee is calculated at:

  • $22 + GST per staff member for ACA members; and 
  • $29 +GST per staff member for non-members.

Eg. If you have 100 staff, the annual fee (ie. a 12-month subscription) for an ACA member would be $2200 plus GST or $2900 plus GST for a non-member.


That's it - there are no additional fees and this is an ongoing low-cost offer. 

 

ACA's annual subscription period which commences on 1 August every year. New sign ups outside of this period will be billed on a pro-rata basis (i.e. for the amount of months to take place between the time of subscription and 1 August next year). 

 

PLEASE NOTE OUR CANCELLATION POLICY: ACA cannot provide subscribers with a refund if they simply change their mind. Under the Australian Consumer Law, the customer is only entitled to a refund or replacement for a major problem with a product covered by consumer guarantees. If you wish to cancel your ACA/LifeWorks EAP subscription, you have the option of not renewing it on 1 August  the following year. 

 

 

What is the extent of the services in the ACA/LifeWorks offer to early learning service providers?

When you sign up to the ACA/Lifeworks offer, your team of staff will have: 

  • 24/7 support by phone, online by browser and by mobile app.
  • 24/7 access to professional advisors for advice, work-life support, and referrals.
  • 24/7 access to counselling by phone for immediate, short-term support.
  • 24/7 access by the mobile app (iOS and Android) and online to wellbeing content.
  • Referrals to in-person counselling, as well as other modalities to fit your schedule and comfort level.
  • Best-in-class clinical programmes that offer help and support for work, health and life challenges.
  • Connections to organisations and agencies in your community to help you address specific needs.
You can read more about LifeWorks, their history and the services they offer here.

 

Does the EAP offer Critical Incident Support? 

The ACA/LifeWorks EAP subscription does not include Critical Indicent Support, but when you sign up to the EAP you have immediate access to this service as an add-on payable extra via LifeWorks should you require it. Your service will be invoiced directly from LifeWorks on a case by case basis, should you request this level of service.

 

LifeWorks uses a team of specialist clinicians with trauma response experience to provide appropriate and highly responsive critical incident support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

 

Their specialised Critical Incident Disaster Response support clinicians provide immediate guidance regarding the likely effects of a traumatic event, they will agree on an intervention plan, including clinically appropriate response times.

 

The LifeWorks team will also recommend the most appropriate intervention for your circumstances and will dispatch local clinicians to conduct onsite interventions.

How to sign up your service

To sign up, please complete the online subscription form here


Within 7 days of completing the form, you will be sent:

  • an invoice from your local ACA State Body for your subscription (for a period of 12 months or possibly less as a pro-rata'd amount) from a specified date. 

  • a welcome email from your ACA National, with all the information you need to give your team of staff access to their new LifeWorks Employee Assistance Program (EAP). 
If you need any assistance with this process or have any queries, please contact your local ACA State Body directly.
 
We hope you take full advantage of this incredibly valuable offer.
support for the mental health & wellbeing of your staff

Frequently Asked Questions

The price of the ACA/LifeWorks EAP seems too good to be true - have I read the costs correctly? Will the costs go up next year? 

As per the costs outlined below, the costs for the ACA/LifeWorks EAP are substantially less than for an EAP when subscribed directly between the employer and the EAP service. This is a permanant, ongoing offer from ACA to ensure that the early learning sector has access to an affordable, high-quality EAP.

We have achieved this low cost on the ECEC sector's behalf, by working with LifeWorks to come up with a packaged service that offers what we think are the most important inclusions for your team of staff, in order to be able to offer you an EAP at a much lower cost. These items include the 24/7 access to immediate telephone therapy, referals to in-person counselling and best-in-class clinical programmes that offer help and support for work, health and life changes. 

 

The ACA/LifeWorks EAP Pricing Structure

The 12-month annual subscription fee is calculated at:

  • $22 + GST per staff member for ACA members; and 
  • $29 +GST per staff member for non-members.

Eg. If you have 100 staff, the annual fee (ie. a 12-month subscription) for an ACA member would be $2200 or $2900 for a non-member.


That's it - there are no additional fees and this is an ongoing low-cost offer. 

 

New subscriptions will be billed on a pro-rata basis if they are outside of ACA's annual subscription period, which commences on 1 August every year.

Why does the ACA/LifeWorks EAP provide the same log-in & password for my whole team of staff?

In order to reduce administrative costs, the ACA/LifeWorks EAP provides you with one log-in ID and password, to be shared with all staff. 

 

However as soon as your individual staff members engage with the online platform on a personal level, such as by starting an online health assessment, they will be asked to create their own log-in & password. This means that if they record their weight, height, etc, this information will be stored in their own, private and personal profile.

 

 

Does the ACA/LifeWorks EAP include face-to-face therapy?

No - the ACA/LifeWorks EAP offers employees 24/7 immediate access to telephone therapy.

 

However LifeWorks can also arrange referals to in-person counselling, of which the cost can be partially or fully covered by a Mental Health Plan (through your GP) via Medicare.

 

 

How many counselling sessions can each staff member access using the EAP?

Under the ACA/LifeWorks EAP, your staff have free access to three sessions of telephone therapy for an individual issue. 

 

An individual issue may be a life situation such as the death of a loved one, separation of a partnership, a particular trauma event or something more general such as your personal emotional state.

 

If individuals would like additional counselling or therapy for a particular issue beyond the three free sessions, they may be referred to an external counselling service. This is something they may wish to discuss during their session.  

Does the EAP include Critical Incident Support?

The ACA/LifeWorks EAP subscription does not include Critical Indicent Support, but when you sign up to the EAP you have immediate access to this service as an add-on payable extra via LifeWorks should you require it. Your service will be invoiced directly from LifeWorks on a case by case basis, should you request this level of service.

 

LifeWorks uses a team of specialist clinicians with trauma response experience to provide appropriate and highly responsive critical incident support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

 

Their specialised Critical Incident Disaster Response support clinicians provide immediate guidance regarding the likely effects of a traumatic event, they will agree on an intervention plan, including clinically appropriate response times.

 

The LifeWorks team will also recommend the most appropriate intervention for your circumstances and will dispatch local clinicians to conduct onsite interventions.

What other benefits can my team of staff take advantage of using the EAP?

Your team members may like to:

 

  • Start an Personal Wellbeing Assessment

    Simply log in to LifeWorks and click on the "Start An Assessment" button.

  • Browse wellbeing content based on their interests, for tips and tools for everyday life. Produced and reviewed by industry experts and bestselling authors, there’s a wealth of wellbeing content that covers areas related to Family, Health, Life, Money and Work.

    Simply log in to LifeWorks and visit the “Life” section from the menu bar.

  • Get started on the CareNow program, which gives them access to a range of programmes designed to help with anxiety, depression, and stress.

  • Take advantage of the exclusive discounts to EAP members.

    Simply log in to LifeWorks and click on the "Exclusive Offers" tab at the top. They'll find discounts on GoogleStore and Apple products, Hello Fresh and lots of other retailers, as well as gyms and accommodation.

  • Print out the wallet card and put it in their wallet for easy access to your LifeWorks EAP 24/7 support services.
Does the EAP allow me to get an idea of whether my staff members are using the service?

No - the ACA/LifeWorks EAP subscription does not include any level of feedback or corporate reporting to the employer/service provider. 

 

This is a level of service that we chose not to include, in order to keep the annual costs down. If this is a service you feel is important for your organisation, you may wish to contact LifeWorks directly to explore the costs of a more tailored service.

 

What if our service would like a more tailored offer with a greater suite of services than the ACA/LifeWorks EAP? 

If you are interested in a tailored EAP and Wellbeing solution specific to your organisation, you may consider subscribing directly with LifeWorks by emailing Kylie Hancock at kylie.hancock@lifeworks.com.

 

LifeWorks Total Wellbeing can offer a tailored solution for your organisation, which can include, but not limited to:

  • Wellbeing Newsfeed – specialist information on wellbeing-resources and the ability for provider postings, allowing your organisation to push content directly to employees using smart technology that will send a push notification to all registered employees.

  • Complimentary access to Lifeworks Monthly Newsletter and Quarterly Webinars.

  • Access to LifeWorks Mobile App customised to include your branding/logos.

  • Up to 6 sessions of counselling per issue (unlimited issues per annum) – counselling sessions will be offered via telephone, secure video, chat and face-to-face.

  • Launch communications – videos, intranet text, email communications, HR & Manager communications, FAQ documents, employee and manager/HR webinars.

  • Account Management

 

  • Corporate reporting , providing comprehensive analytical insights to drive greater measurable outcomes.

  • Critical Incident and Disaster Response support

  • And more…..

To discuss your business needs, please contact Kylie Hancock at kylie.hancock@lifeworks.com

Please note: If you have already subscribed to the ACA LifeWorks offer & wish to upgrade to the LifeWorks Total Wellbeing Platform, you can do so immediately but please be aware that ACA is not offering refunds for paid subscribers.


If you choose to upgrade we advise you to opt out of renewing your ACA subscription when you receive your renewal notice in August next year.