Every child who enrols under the Around The Clock FDC scheme is required to complete and sign a CWA - Complying Written Agreement which is otherwise known as a contract of booked hours form before care can commence. This contract states the days, times, and fees to be charged for the agreed care. This is the legal document we use when billing families for care, so it needs to be accurate for your care requirements.
In the instance that you go over your contracted booked hours, 1 of two forms will need to be completed when this occurs.
1. Temporary Change of Contract Hours Form - which overrides the standard contract. This form has the temporary days & hours to be charged for the period stipulated and once that has occurred then the standard contract booked hours is reinstated from then on again. This allows families to still be able to claim for CCS entitlements for the extra hours utilised outside their standard contract terms.
2. The second form is the Late Fee Form - This is where a family has collected a child outside their standard contracted booked hours and hasnt provided their Educator with a reasonable explaination for their late pick up and therefore will be charged the full fee for the time used outside their standard contracted hours and no CCS entitlements will be claimed for this extra time.
That is why it is so important when you are setting your contracted book hours that you ensure enough time either side of your own commitments to drop off and collect your child within your agreed timeframe.
Casual Care also requires its own form called the Casual Care Contract - This isnt for permanent contracted children, just families that may require the occassioanl casual position and an Educator has a vacant place in their service and are happy to have casual children fill the position when avalaible. This contract of booked hours has terms of its own one being that a minimum 48hours notice period is required to cancel the casual care if needed otherwise the care will still be charged and invoiced accordingly. This includes when a casual child is sick and cannot attend care and also in the instance that a casual child just doesnt turn up for the scheduled day as per the hours stipulated on the casual contract.
Each Educator within ATCFDC has their own Fee schedule which explain ALL rates and charges that can incur for a child's care.
The fee schedule states all the hourly / daily / or session rates as well as the type of rate ie Standard Rate which are hours between 8.00am & 6.00pm
Non Standard Rate which are after 6.00pm and before 8.00am
Casual Care Rates
Before and After School Care Rates
Under 2 years of age Rates
Public Holiday Attending Care Rates
ATCFDC scheme hourly levy charge
Thats just to name a few...............................
It also covers bank details for payment, notice periods required for ammendment and changes to care, as well as an Educators minimum hours of care required each day that you will be charged for if more than the ATCFDC minimums stipulated on the form. And much much more.
So you will need to read through the individual Educators Fee Schdeule when arranging care and sign at the bottom that you understand the rates at which you will be charged at.
Care is invoiced on a Tuesday or Wednesday of each week via email and is based on the current weeks care contract of booked hours for each child. Invoices are sent via our software so will come through under the term "HUBWORKS" or "HUB COMMUNICATIONS". Also you may need to check your junk / rubbish / spam folders if you dont receive your invoice to your main inbox as coming from a business domain often email accounts will mark or block the email from entering your inbox and divert it to junk / spam folders instead. So please double check this if you dont happen to recieve your invoice for care. If you still dont find it there please let the office know asap so we may chase this up and reissue you with another invoice.
Invoices are payable no later than close of business each Friday in the full amount stated on the top right hand side in bold on the invoice.
Invoices will provide a breakdown of each weeks charges and also state an ESTIMATE expected from centrelink for CCS entitlements if eligible and will show in bold the gap payment that the bill payer is required to pay. This can differ occassionaly from the actual figure of entitlement centrelink pays to the service and if this is the case any differences will be evident on the following weeks invoice which will need to be brought back upto date with that weeks payment or any credit rolled over to the next weeks care charges.
If any changes are made to the current weeks scheduled care ie extra hours are utilised by your child and or your Educator is absent and unable to provide care for your child these changes to your account will be reflected in your following weeks invoice and any credits you may be entitled to for over payment of fees will come off the follwing weeks care making your gap payment for that week lower.
Where able to know in advance of these changes we ammend the invoice before being sent out but this isnt always possible so therefore want to reassure families that all credits are rolled over to the following week so you wont be overcharged once the submission of attendances have been processed with CCS via the child care subsidy system.
All payments are recipted weekly and displayed on the follwing weeks invoice. Please ensure you remember to reference preferably your child's full name or at least your child's first Inital followed by their last name, so we are able to correctly assign each payment accordingly.
Families wanting to pay on a fortnighly basis are able to do so under the condition that the fees are paid in advance of the care occuring and not in arrears. We have a fortnighly agreement form which the bill payer will be required to sign stating all the terms and conditions of the fortnighly payment agreement which they agree to abide by at all times to remain on the fortnighly payment cycle.
Alisha our Finance Officer will then be able to provide the family with the 1st required payment to place their account in credit and then also the fortnighly figure that will be required each fortnight there after.
These calculations are formulated on the child's booked hours contract so any other care utilised outside these hours will need to be paid for as utilised on top of the standard fortnighly payable figure.
If your child is absent due to illness, holidays, family visiting etc you are still required to pay for the contracted booked hours. Educators spend alot of time setting up their environments and plan their programs and activities for each day regardless if a child turns up or not. So just like in other care services you are still required to pay for your position.
Under Centrlink children are able to have 42 unexplained absenses per financial year before Centrelink will stop paying any CCS entitlements for that child. If your child is unwell and you seek medical attention ensure you get a doctors certificate for that absence and we will be able to mark that as an explained medical absense and that wont count towards your 42 allowble absent days.
When an Educator is suddenly unable to provide care due to illness as much notice as possible will be given to the families. Often "general" sickness is unpredictable and comes on quickly so therefore there could be times where only very short notice can be provided. We understand that this can often place families in a difficult position being left without any care for that day or period of time and this can be very frustrating for some. That is why when considering family day care as your preferred option of care you need to understand that instances like this can happen and you may need to have an alternative back up arranged or understanding from work places that this type of scenario may occur. ATCFDC will of course try and arrange an alternative care option for that day / period but this isnt always possible to do so. So please just keep that in mind.
In the instance where an educator is planning on taking time off and temporarily closing their service for holidays or various reasons they are required to provide the families within their service as much notice as possible but as a minimum 2 weeks notice needs to be given.
When it comes to offering alternative care options for families ATCFDC would do all it can to assist it's families, but this isnt always possible to do so and can not be gaurenteed. Families arent required to take up any alternative arrangements and if they choose to forgo this option when avaliable to them then no charge will be implemented for this period of absence until their Educator is back and operating their service again. However families who do accept any alternative care arrangements that ATCFDC can offer for the period of absence will need to be contracted for and normal payment terms stand ie if a child is sick during this alternative care arrangement then fees are still charged for that absence as per the contracted booked hours agreed upon.
Public Holidays are only 1 of 2 instances where an Educator is legally allowed to charge for the contracted day's care where no care is provided for on that particular day.
(With the only other legal instance is where a natural disaster has been declared in the area and it is in the best interest of all involved and the surrounding areas that the service closes for the day)
All other absenses of an Educator NOT being able to provide care can not be charged for.
Educators have their own fee schedules stipulating their terms and conditions in regards to Public Holidays and charging so please read through each section of the fee schedule before signing so you are completly aware of the charges you will be required to pay for your child's care.
Illness in the child care industry is always a tricky subject to broach with families. It's one of those instances where a child is required to not attend the service or be sent home from the service due to illness yet still be charged for the care. This can understandably cause a parent to become frustrated and with differing opinions as to if a child is deemed sick enough to not be in care vs a parent option that their child is fine and well and not pose a risk to others within the service.
ATCFDC relies on the "Staying Healthy In Child Care" to guide us in these decisions and what course of action we believe to be in the best interest of the child and those in contact with the child. Although we understand that this can cause stress and often a knock on effect for families with their work and other outside commitments, at the end of the day we are responsible for the quality care of not only your child but also the other children within the service.
With certain illnesses an exclusion from care period is put in place to ensure the unwell child only returns once they are well enough to do so and also protect those other children, Educator and their families from hopefully contracting the sickness and spreading throughout the wider community. Families will be informed of any exclusion periods if necessary at the time of collection of the child or notification of their illness once confirmed if needed.
Some confirmed illnesses require a doctors clearance for a child to return to care and if this is ever the case for a child the family will be notified of the clearance requirement upon the family informing the service of the confirmed illness the child has or soon there after.
All families within an Educators service will be informed of any illness going around that is potentially contagious and be provided with information and fact sheets explaining signs and symptoms to look out for, exclusion periods if any and what course of action is best to take for the child if needed.
Although illness and sickness is unavoidable, especially when working with young children Educators are required to follow strict procedures when it comes to cleaning and maintaining their environments for health and safety of all who enter their FDC premises. This is checked by coordination staff when visiting Educators to ensure vigilance in this area. When an outbreak is apparent in a service extra steps and precautions are put into place to ensure everything is being done to support a healthy environment for all.