Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk holiday shutdown

The Child Care Subsidy Helpdesk will close for the 2020—21 Christmas and New Year period from 12.30pm (AEDT) Thursday 24 December 2020 and reopen at 9am (AEDT) Monday 4 January 2021. DESE recommend that if you need help during this period, you refer to their resources for providers.

We have also set out below information provided by DESE about session reports, attendances, absences and service closures. This information has been taken from the DESE webpage, which also includes illustrative tables on when CCS can be claimed over the holiday period. 

Please note: if anything changes in your local area DESE will provide more information on their website and through their email newsletter.

Session reports and payment dates
Data submitted to the Child Care Subsidy System will be processed throughout the Christmas and New Year period. You will be able to view the data through your third-party software or the Provider Entry Point (PEP).

Session reports submitted on the following dates may experience short delays in processing or payment due to public holidays:

  • Wednesday 23 December 2020
  • Thursday 24 December 2020
  • Friday 25 December 2020
  • Monday 28 December 2020
  • Friday 1 January 2021

Temporary change of circumstances
You must tell DESE within 14 days if you close your service or change your operating hours over the holiday period.

This is a requirement under Family Assistance Law. Penalties may apply if you fail to let them know within the specified timeframe.

You can notify the above changes through your third-party software provider or the PEP. If you need help in the PEP, refer to the how to update organisation details in PEP task card. Contact your software provider for help with your third-party software.

More information is available in the Child Care Provider Handbook.

Closing early on Christmas Eve
If your service is closing early on 24 December 2020, you must report shorter sessions of care.

You must only submit session reports for the hours you are open and providing care, unless it is a public holiday.

Closing because of COVID-19
Up to 31 December 2020, you can waive a families’ out-of-pocket fees if your service is closed as a result of a public health directive.

Reporting attendances and absences
You cannot report attendances for days that your service is closed. You can only report attendances for sessions of care that a child was present.

You cannot report absences for days that your service is closed, unless it is a public holiday.

Additional absences
A public holiday is not an additional absence reason. A child is only eligible for additional absences on a public holiday if all of the following apply:

  • the 42 initial absence days per financial year have been used
  • it is a day the child normally attends care
  • you have charged a fee
  • one of the additional absence reasons applies (e.g. sickness), and
  • written evidence supports the additional absence reason (e.g. a medical certificate), excluding for COVID-19 reasons until 31 December 2020.

Services that close over the holiday period
You may make a business decision to charge families over a Christmas shutdown period. Families are not entitled to Child Care Subsidy for the days your service is closed.

However, you can report absences and receive Child Care Subsidy for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day public holidays if:

  • the family has been charged a fee for those days, and
  • the public holiday falls on a day that the child would normally be in care.

Please visit the DESE website for a table which illustrates the circumstances in which you can report an absence when closed.

Services that only close for public holidays
If you provide care over the Christmas and New Year period and only close for public holidays, attendances and absences should be reported as usual.

Please visit the DESE website for a table which illustrates the circumstances in which you can report an absence when closed.

More information
More information on enrolments, attendance and absences is in the Child Care Provider Handbook.