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Rules/Other as made
The instrument amends the Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules 2017 (Principal Rules) to provide continued targeted COVID-19 and emergency support for child care services and families. These amendments provide certainty and flexibility to families and services impacted by emergencies (such as natural disasters) and COVID-19, retaining measures that encourage families to maintain enrolments, give services flexibility to offer fee relief when children are unable to attend, and support service viability.
Administered by: Education
Registered 15 Sep 2022
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR23-Sep-2022
Tabled Senate26-Sep-2022
Table of contents.

Commonwealth Coat of Arms of Australia

 

Child Care Subsidy Amendment (Coronavirus Response, Emergency Support and Other Measures) Minister’s Rules 2022

I, Jason Clare, Minister for Education, make the following Rules.

Dated   2 September     2022   

Jason Clare

Minister for Education

 


Contents

1  Name........................................................................................................................................ 1

2  Commencement........................................................................................................................ 1

3  Authority.................................................................................................................................. 1

4  Schedules................................................................................................................................. 1

Schedule 1—Amendments relating to coronavirus response measures                   2

Part 1—Coronavirus response measures commencing on 1 July 2022                    2

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules                                                                                                 2

Part 2—Coronavirus response measures commencing on the day after registration 5

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules                                                                                                 5

Schedule 2—Amendments relating to emergency support measures                       8

Part 1—Emergency support measures commencing on 1 July 2022                       8

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules                                                                                                 8

Part 2—Emergency support measures commencing on the day after registration  9

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules                                                                                                 9

Schedule 3—Other amendments                                                                               11

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules                                                                                              11

 


1  Name

                   This instrument is the Child Care Subsidy Amendment (Coronavirus Response, Emergency Support and Other Measures) Minister’s Rules 2022.

2  Commencement

             (1)  Each provision of this instrument specified in column 1 of the table commences, or is taken to have commenced, in accordance with column 2 of the table. Any other statement in column 2 has effect according to its terms.

 

Commencement information

Column 1

Column 2

Column 3

Provisions

Commencement

Date/Details

1.  Sections 1 to 4 and anything in this instrument not elsewhere covered by this table.

The day after the instrument is registered.

16 September 2022

2. Schedule 1, Part 1

1 July 2022.

1 July 2022

3. Schedule 1, Part 2

The day after the instrument is registered.

16 September 2022

4. Schedule 2, Part 1

1 July 2022.

1 July 2022

5. Schedule 2, Part 2

The day after the instrument is registered.

16 September 2022

6. Schedule 3

1 January 2023.

1 January 2023

Note:          This table relates only to the provisions of this instrument as originally made. It will not be amended to deal with any later amendments of this instrument.

             (2)  Any information in column 3 of the table is not part of this instrument. Information may be inserted in this column, or information in it may be edited, in any published version of this instrument.

3  Authority

                   This instrument is made under subsection 85GB(1) of the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) Act 1999.

4  Schedules

                   Each instrument that is specified in a Schedule to this instrument is amended or repealed as set out in the applicable items in the Schedule concerned, and any other item in a Schedule to this instrument has effect according to its terms.

Schedule 1Amendments relating to coronavirus response measures

Part 1—Coronavirus response measures commencing on 1 July 2022

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules

1  Section 4

Insert:

COVID-19 test means a rapid antigen test to detect COVID-19 or a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test to diagnose COVID-19.

2  Subparagraph 8(4B)(b)(vi)

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

3  Subparagraph 8(4B)(b)(vi)

Omit all the words after “one or more of its educators”, substitute “has returned a positive COVID-19 test result in a seven day period ending on the day”.

4  Section 57AA (note)

Repeal the note.

5  Subclause 2.1(3) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

6  Subclause 2.1(13) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

7  Subclause 2.1(13) of Schedule 3

Omit all words after “on that day,”, substitute “any of the following persons have returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day:”.

8  Paragraph 2.1(13)(b) of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph.

9  Subclause 2.1(14) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

10  Clause 2.2 of Schedule 3 (heading)

Omit “services advised or required to close”, substitute “services closed because educators or members of educator’s household return a positive COVID-19 test result”.

11  Subparagraph 2.2(1)(a)(iv) of Schedule 3

Omit all the words after “that educator’s household,”, substitute “has returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day;”.

12  Subparagraph 2.2(1)(a)(v) of Schedule 3

Omit all the words after “the IHC educator”, substitute “has returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day; and”.

13  Subparagraph 2.2(1)(a)(vi) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subparagraph.

14  Paragraph 2.2(2)(a) of Schedule 3

Omit all words after “beginning on the day”, substitute “the positive COVID-19 test result referred to in paragraph (1)(a) was returned; and”.

15  Subparagraph 2.2(2)(b)(i) of Schedule 3

Omit “subparagraph”, substitute “paragraph”.

16  Subparagraph 2.2(2)(b)(ii) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

17  Clause 2.3 of Schedule 3 (heading)

Repeal the heading, substitute:

2.3  Exemption from enforcing payment of hourly session fees—services required to reduce care because educators return a positive COVID-19 test result

18  Paragraph 2.3(1)(b) of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

                     (b)  despite the endeavours described in paragraph (a), the service does not have sufficient educators to provide care for the child because one or more educators has returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day; and

19  Subclause 2.3(2) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

20  Paragraph 3.1A(3)(a) of Schedule 3

After “2021-2022 financial year”, insert “or the 2022-2023 financial year”.

21  Subclause 3.1A(4) of Schedule 3 (note)

Repeal the note.

22  After subclause 3.1A(4) of Schedule 3

Insert:

             (5)  The number of days prescribed for the COVID‑19 pandemic for the 2022-2023 financial year is 9 days.

Note:          As a result of subsection 10(2) of the Family Assistance Act, in the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 financial years, because of the COVID‑19 pandemic, a child will be able to have up to 10 extra allowable absence days from a child care service, in addition to the 42 days of allowable absence under subparagraph 10(2)(c)(i) of that Act.


 

Part 2—Coronavirus response measures commencing on the day after registration

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules

23  Section 4

Repeal the following definitions:

                     (a)  definition of in a COVID-19 hotspot;

                     (b)  definition of in a restricted COVID-19 hotspot;

                     (c)  definition of relevant person.

24  Subsection 5B(2) (note 2)

Omit all the words after “absences”, substitute “in relation to COVID-19.”.

25  Subsection 6(2)

Repeal the subsection.

26  Subparagraphs 8(4B)(b)(iii), (iv) and (v)

Repeal the subparagraphs.

27  Schedule 3, Part 1

Repeal the Part.

28  Paragraph 2.1(4)(c) of Schedule 3

Omit “(5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11), (12),”.

29  Subsection 2.1(4A) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(4A)     This subclause applies to a session of care if the service is not closed on the day the session of care was provided.

30  Subclauses 2.1(5) to (12) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subclauses.

31  Subparagraphs 2.2(1)(a)(i), (ii) and (iii) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subparagraphs.

32  Paragraph 2.2(1)(c) of Schedule 3

Omit “service; and”, substitute “service.”.

33  Paragraph 2.2(1)(d) of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph.

34  Clause 3.1 of Schedule 3

Repeal the clause.

35  Subclause 3.1A(3) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subclause, substitute:

             (3)  The condition is that, had the child attended the session of care, the session would have been provided by the child care service to the child in the 2021‑2022 financial year or the 2022‑2023 financial year.

36  Clause 3.2 of Schedule 3 (heading)

Omit all words after “of attendance”, substitute “where a child, or a member of the child’s household, has returned a positive COVID-19 test result”.

37  Subclauses 3.2(2) to (5) of Schedule 3

Repeal the subclauses.

38  Paragraph 3.2(6)(a) of Schedule 3

Repeal the paragraph, substitute:

(a)  on that day, the child or another member of the child’s household has  returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day; and

39  Subparagraph 3.2(6)(b)(i) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

40  Subparagraph 3.2(6)(c)(i) of Schedule 3

Omit “30 June 2022”, substitute “30 June 2023”.

41  After clause 3.2 of Schedule 3

Insert:

3.3  Exemption from obligation to provide medical certificate for additional absences where evidence is provided of a positive COVID-19 result

                   For the purposes of subsection 10(3A) of the Family Assistance Act, paragraph 10(3)(e) does not apply to a day in the following circumstances:

                     (a)  the illness referred to in paragraph 10(4)(a) or (b) of the Family Assistance Act is COVID-19; and

                     (b)  the person referred to in paragraph 10(4)(a) or (b) of the Family Assistance Act returned a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven day period ending on the day; and

                     (c)  the service has been given a copy of a notice of the positive COVID-19 test result by a pathology service or a government agency; and

                     (d)  the day is between 1 March 2022 and 30 June 2023.

42  Schedule 3, Parts 4 and 5

Repeal the Parts.

 

Schedule 2Amendments relating to emergency support measures

Part 1—Emergency support measures commencing on 1 July 2022

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules

1  Section 5C

Repeal the section, substitute:

5C  Days on which sessions of care are taken to be provided—period of emergency

                   For subparagraph 10(2)(c)(ii) of the Family Assistance Act, the conditions referred to in subsection 10(2AA) of that Act are met in relation to a session of care and a day in a financial year in the following circumstances:

                     (a)  the day is on or after 23 February 2022; and

                     (b)  the day is during a period of emergency; and

                     (c)  the child did not attend any part of the session of care:

                              (i)  because the service is closed during the period of emergency; or

                             (ii)  the child cannot attend the session of care as a direct result of the emergency.

Example:    A service is flooded; or staff are unable to travel to the service because the roads are closed.

2  After Part 5, Division 1A (heading)

Insert:

54AA  Purpose of Division

Section 54B

Repeal the section, substitute:

54B  Exemption for sessions of care provided during periods of emergency

                   For the purposes of subsection 201B(1A) of the Family Assistance Administration Act, a provider is not required to take reasonable steps in relation to a session of care provided by a service to a child if:

                     (a)  the session of care was provided on or after 23 February 2022; and

                     (b)  the session of care was provided during a period of emergency; and

                     (c)  the child did not attend any part of the session of care:

                              (i)  as a direct result of the emergency; or

                             (ii)  because the service, or part of the service, that provided the session of care is closed as a direct result of the emergency.


 

Part 2—Emergency support measures commencing on the day after registration

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules

4  Section 4

Insert:

emergency: see period of emergency.

5  Section 4 (definition of period of local emergency)

Repeal the definition, substitute:

period of emergency means a period in respect of which an event (an emergency) has occurred that:

                     (a)  affects a widespread area; and

                     (b)  has a severe impact on the lives of a significant number of the inhabitants of the area; and

                     (c)  prevents, or may prevent, children from attending the service, or may make such attendance hazardous.

Note:          Where a period of emergency exists for an area, the Department may list the period of emergency on its website for clarity.

6  Paragraph 5B(2)(c)

Omit all the words after “and the child attends”, substitute “a session of care provided by:

                              (i)  where the service is an FDC service or an IHC service—the service at another location; or

                             (ii)  another child care service of the approved provider;”.

7  After section 5B

Insert:

5BA When is an IHC or an FDC service closed?

                     For the purposes of these Rules, an FDC service or an IHC service is closed if:

                     (a)  the whole service is closed; or

                     (b)  in relation to a session of care that the service provides or is taken to provide at a particular location—there is no educator at the service who is willing and able to provide the session at that location.

8  Paragraphs 6(1)(c), (d) and (e)

Omit “local emergency” (wherever occurring) and substitute “emergency”.

9  Subparagraph 8(4B)(b)(ii)

Repeal the subparagraph, insert “during a period of emergency, as a direct result of that emergency”.

10  Part 6, Division 2

Repeal the Division.

Schedule 3—Condition of continued approval to not offer certain inducements

Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules

1  After section 48A

Insert:

48B  Provider must not offer certain inducements

             (1)  For section 195E of the Family Assistance Administration Act, it is a condition of continued approval of an approved provider that the provider does not offer or provide a benefit, or cause a benefit to be offered or provided, if the benefit would be reasonably likely to induce a person to commence or maintain an enrolment of a child with the provider, or engage in greater quantity of care under that enrolment.

             (2)  However, subsection (1) does not apply in relation to the following benefits:

                     (a)  the quality of the education and care, including the availability of pre-school programs or priority enrolment for associated schools;

                     (b)  the amount of fees for the care;

                     (c)  the ability to offer care that attracts child care subsidy or additional child care subsidy;

                     (d)  not enforcing payment of hourly session fees (also known as “waiving gap fees”) where not required to in accordance with subsection 201B(1A) of the Family Assistance Administration Act;

                     (e)  payments that are prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 2(2A)(c) of Schedule 2 to the Family Assistance Act;

                      (f)  the days on which sessions of care will usually be provided, or the start and end times for these sessions of care;

                     (g)  inclusions relating to the basic needs of the child while in care, such as food and nappies;

                     (h)  transport for the child in connection with care, such as between the service and the child’s home or school;

                      (i)  marketing merchandise up to the total value of $30 per complying written arrangement.