In July 2018 there will be significant changes to the way the Federal government funds child care in Australia. The details are still being sorted out and may change but I am getting asked a lot of questions by Child Care centres so I thought I would share what I understand at this point. In this blog I will try to tackle the changes affecting STATEMENTS.
Statements are one area that have long been a bone of contention. On one hand parents (rightly) want to know what they are being charged for in a clear, simple, easily understandable format. On the other hand there are the department's rules on what needs to be shown on a statement.
When the department interviewed some parents in preparation for designing the new child care subsidy , one of the issues raised by parents was that statements are too complicated and need to be simplified. Since every CCMS software provider has their own statement design we cant know if this refers to statements in general or the statement provided by one particular software system.
Anyway the department has taken it upon itself to change the rules on what needs to be in a statement (see Part 4 Div 2 if you are game).
I won't go through the whole list here but suffice to say its not a shorter list than the old rules. I just want to focus on one particular item which ties back in to my previous post on recording attendances and (IMO) makes the situation much more complicated. The highlighting is mine.
If you are lucky a child only attends 1 session per day , if you run an OSHC service and the child comes in the morning and the afternoon that's 2 sessions.
Even so , that is session start , attendance start , attendance end , session end for every session. This in addition to session hours , session hourly rate (probably a calculated figure based on your session fee and session duration).
To try to get my head around this 'simpler statement' I did a very simple mock up of a statement based purely on the new rules. This doesn't have all the details required yet but it does give a feel for it. You can judge for yourself if this is 'simpler'.
My pet peeve in this is that even in 2017 our legislators are still mandating what are essentially 'paper statements' when there are much more intelligible and friendly ways to communicate this information online. Which is where the majority of parents (with some notable exceptions) are used to getting (and want to get) their information by the way.
I'm not advocating dispensing with paper altogether but we really shouldn't be setting rules that treat the internet as an afterthought. That's so last century :)
Will your families be better off or worse off under the new system ?
Invite them to try the government's Child Care Subsidy Estimator and find out.