Reconciliation and 2016/17 Child Care Benefit Rates
Reconciliation of family payments
During the financial year, a family’s CCB fee reductions are a provisional entitlement based on their estimated annual family income. At the end of the financial year, the Department of Human Services compares the family’s provisional entitlement with their actual entitlement, based on their taxable income for the year. This process is called ‘reconciliation’ or ‘balancing’ of the family’s payments.
How reconciliation works
Reconciliation is done progressively as families lodge tax returns with the Australian Taxation Office. Some families do not have to lodge a tax return and their payments are reconciled automatically.
Reconciliation can result in the family receiving a top-up payment, or having to repay the CCB and Child Care Rebate (CCR) they should have not received. Once a family has had their entitlement reconciled for a financial year, any further payments and adjustments for the year are managed directly between the family and the Department of Human Services. CCB and CCR for the previous financial year can no longer be paid to the service on behalf of the family.
Accounts are issued weekly on a Monday. Family accounts will include fees for care for the current week to Friday and have an estimate of the CCB (Child Care Benefit).
Attendances are submitted to Centrelink on the Monday of the next week and reconciled information is then downloaded on Wednesday. This means there may be small changes from week to week once information regarding attendances of other siblings, CCB percentage changes and CCTR (Child Care Tax Rebate) contributions have been reconciled with the DSS and these changes may alter the account slightly.
Allowable Absences- as by The Family Assistance Law requirements
Each child attending an Outside School Hours Care service is allowed an initial 42 allowable absences from care per financial year where Centrelink will still pay the Child Car e Benefit (CCB) portion of fees. Once a family has used these 42 days any further absences will not include the CCB portion of fees, in other words families will pay full fees.
After the initial 42 absence days have been used, CCB and Child Care Rebate (CCR) can only be paid for additional absences in specified circumstances and supporting evidence is required.
Some examples include:
- Illness- with a medical certificate if you or your child is ill
- Non-immunisation (with written evidence)
- Rostered days off/rotating shift work (with written evidence)
- Temporary closure of a school or pupil-free days
- Periods of local emergency
- Shared care arrangements due to a court order, parenting plan or parenting order (with copy of documentation)
- Attendance at preschool
- Exceptional circumstances
We suggest that if you or your child is away from care because of illness you obtain a medical certificate and supply a copy to your service Coordinator. In doing so any applicable days will be marked as “Additional Absences and therefore not affect your initial 42 allowable absence days.
Please remember that our normal fees still apply for absences unless the appropriate notice has been given for cancelation of that booking.
Absences at the start and end of care – as by The Family Assistance Law requirements
Under Family Assistance Law, CCB will not be paid for absences where fees are charged to reserve a place for your child at a service and CCB will not be paid for absences once a child has ceased care.
This means that if you make a booking for your child to attend for their first ever attendance at the service and for some reason your child does not attend, CCB cannot be claimed for that booking and full fees will be charged.
Alternatively if you have advised that your child will leave the service on a particular day, but the child does not attend on their last days, CCB cannot be claimed for these days and full fees will be charged.