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ACCS

ACCS (child wellbeing) certificates Q&A for child care providers

Do I need to issue a new certificate for Additional Child Care Subsidy (child wellbeing) each 12-month period?

Yes. Once a child has received Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS) (child wellbeing) for continuous periods over 12 months, you need to issue a new certificate.

The Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) will not allow you to apply for a further determination if the child has received ACCS (child wellbeing) for continuous periods over 12 months and a new certificate is not issued. If the child remains ‘at risk’ after six weeks on the certificate, you will then need to apply for further 13-week period determinations.

For example:

Billy attends Pink Unicorn Child Care Service and a certificate was issued for six weeks on 8 July 2019 because he was assessed as being ‘at risk’. Billy has remained on 13-week determinations continuously since then (inclusive of the Relief Package period). On 18 May 2020, Services Australia made a determination for another 13 weeks for Billy which ceases on 16 August 2020. If Billy is still considered to be ‘at risk’, the service will need to issue a new six-week certificate, from 17 August 2020, before another determination can be given.

Does a child need to use the full six weeks of a certificate before I can apply for a determination?

Yes. When you apply for a determination, the system will check to see if the child has been on a certificate for six weeks in the previous 12 months.

If the child has not been on a certificate for six weeks in the last 12 months, you will need to issue a certificate for the remaining balance of the six weeks before you can apply for a determination.

For example:

Orange Monkey Child Care Centre issued Janie a certificate for three weeks because she was assessed ‘at risk’ when she started at the service on 8 July 2019. Janie continued to be assessed as ‘at risk’ so the service applied for a determination from Services Australia for 13 weeks commencing 29 July 2019. The system checked to see if Janie had been on a certificate for six weeks in the previous 12 months. In this case, only three weeks of the certificate was used. The service must issue a certificate for the remaining balance of the six weeks before they can apply for a determination.

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CCS News

2019–20 CCS balancing started

The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) balancing process (also known as reconciliation) is underway for the 2018‑19 and 2019‑20 financial years.

What is “balancing”?
Balancing, also referred to as “reconciliation”, is the process that occurs after the end of each financial year where Services Australia compares families’ income estimates with their actual adjusted taxable income to ensure families receive their correct Child Care Subsidy (CCS) entitlement.

What do families need to do?
Families will need to take action so Services Australia can balance their CCS. They will need to either:

  • lodge a tax return(s), or
  • tell Services Australia they are not required to lodge a tax return. Families can do this by completing an Advise non-lodgement of tax return using their Centrelink online account through myGov or through the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.

Important: Even if a family has told the ATO they don’t need to lodge, they must still do an Advise non-lodgement of tax return with Services Australia.

CCS balancing for 2019–20 financial year
Balancing CCS for the 2019–20 financial year starts from 10 August 2020.

If Services Australia has paid a family too much during the financial year, they won’t finalise balancing the family’s payments straight away. This is because they have paused a range of debt activities due to COVID-19.

CCS balancing for 2018–19 financial year
Balancing for the 2018–19 financial year is still underway.

Some families still have not confirmed their 2018–19 income, which means they may not have received the correct CCS entitlement for the 2018–19 financial year.

If a family received CCS for 2018–19 and haven’t confirmed their family income by 31 March 2021, their CCS will reduce to 0 per cent from 5 April 2021. This means families will need to be charged full fees for child care they use.

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CCS News

Families affected by COVID-19 can apply for extra Child Care Subsidy (CCS) hours

Families who are doing less work, study or other recognised activity due to COVID-19 may be able to apply for more Child Care Subsidy (CCS) hours.

Families affected by COVID-19 may get up to 100 hours of CCS per fortnight for up to 12 weeks.

If you’re eligible, you can access extra hours between 13 July and 4 October 2020. You can apply any time before 4 October but the government can only back pay you up to 28 days.

It’s important you keep your activity test details up to date so the government can give you the right rate of CCS. Check they’re correct before applying for extra hours.

Who can get extra hours
You can get extra CCS hours if your family’s recognised activity level has gone down because of COVID-19. All of the following must also apply:

  • you don’t already have access to 100 hours of CCS
  • between 13 January and 22 March 2020, you were doing more than 16 hours of recognised activity per fortnight
  • now, you’re doing 8 or more hours of recognised activity per fortnight.

You can’t get extra hours if you’ve chosen to do less activity and this isn’t because of COVID-19.

Services Australia has created the below short video to help families understand if they are eligible.

What you need to do
You can apply for extra hours using your Centrelink online account through myGov. Select My Family from the menu, then Child care.

You can also use the Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.