Understanding Childcare Fee Statements

We know that understanding statements can be a confusing task, given the unique way that childcare is funded through the Childcare Subsidy (CCS) system, each Financial Year. If you’re not completely across it, it can be that much harder to understand a statement when it arrives in your inbox! So – let’s take a moment to unpack this one to try and solve some of those ‘head-scratching’ moments!

First of all, it’s important to understand that your child’s care is based on a fortnight. You will no doubt be familiar with the two elements of the Childcare Subsidy:

  • Subsidy Percentage – For example, 85% (The percentage of care that will be paid for by Centrelink)
  • Approved Hours Per Fortnight – For example, 100 hours per fortnight. (The number of hours care to which that subsidy percentage applies)

It’s also important to understand that Town and Country Children’s Centre is a Long Day Care Service that is open from 6.30am-6.30pm, making our full daily sessions 12 Hours long.

For example if your child attends three days per week, that totals 72 Hours care, which is within the allocated 100 hours above, meaning that all three days each week are subsidised at 85%. How?

Week One – 3 Sesssions @12 Hours each = 36 Hours (3*12)

Week Two – 3 Sessions @12 Hours each = 36 Hours (3*12)

Fortnightly Hours of care used = 36+36=72 Hours of Care.

It’s also important to note that fees payable are based on  your entitlements that are linked to your account and statements are generated automatically by our software provider, and our software integrates with the CCS platform at Services Australia/Centrelink.

This integration means that our software knows what your GAP Fee Payment each week should be, based on:

  • Your child’s attendances for both weeks in a fortnight
  • Your child’s subsidy percentage
  • Your child’s approved hours per fortnight.

…and we will send a statement that reflects your automatically calculated gap fee payment, accordingly.

Also, key to the process is to understand that as a service (and this is fairly commonplace in the Industry) we charge by week, a week in advance, or by fortnight, a fortnight in advance, dependent upon your preferred payment frequency. This charge either by week or fortnight is always done on a Thursday, so that by Thursday night or Friday/Monday in any given week, your fees will be deducted using your preferred method of payment – direct debit credit card or direct debit bank account.

We will also, in the first week of your child’s attendance at the beginning of their enrolment, in order to become paid up a week in advance, as per the Centre’s Fee Policy, we charge for two weeks at once (or two fortnights – depending on your preferred payment frequency) when we retrieve the first payment in your child’s first week of care OR we will commence charging families in the week prior to the child’s enrolment commencement, so that in the week that they commence, their first week of care has been paid for . This means that your account should therefore always be paid up one week in advance. This might change if you increase or decrease days later on in your child’s enrolment.

This means that when we issue statements, we will do so before a Thursday, with the amount ‘Due Now’ showing your outstanding fee balance for the week or fortnight ahead. Once that payment is processed on a Thursday, your account should then return to a zero or credit balance

Reasons why your statement might appear with different amounts from week to week:

  • Your CCS Entitlements have changed and more or less of your fees are being subsidised, which will impact your payable GAP fee.

It’s important to note that we are not made aware of individual family’s changes in CCS entitlements – the first we may learn of this is if you contact us because you have been charged an amount different to what you were expecting. It is important for this reason to stay across any communications that comes to you from Centrelink so that you’re aware of the potential financial impact of the change of your entitlements based on your family’s individual circumstances.

  • Your CCS Entitlements have dropped off altogether (either due to a change in circumstances or potentially an outdated Immunisation History Statement) so the full fee has been applied to your account rather than just the gap fee – this can make a substantial difference to your statement’s ‘Due Now’ balance and what you are subsequently charged.
  • You have requested a casual day for your child that increases your child’s fees from one week to the next
  • You have changed the number of days your child attends the service (increased or decreased)
  • You have a debt offset in place with Centrelink, which means that you will – for a period of time, dependent on your debt with Centrelink – you will need to pay higher gap fees, until your debt with Centrelink is resolved.

Also for your information, here is a detailed explanation of the different elements of your statement.

If you have questions about your statement, please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our management team next time your at our service, or send us a quick email to [email protected]