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How do I apply to become a Child Care Subsidy Provider?

Home / Childcare / How do I apply to become a Child Care Subsidy Provider?

On this page:

CCS Application Checklist - Your "To Do List"

Use this checklist to help step you through and tick off the tasks involved in your CCS application. This document can be used digitally, just click on the checkboxes to tick off tasks as they are complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HANDBOOK - Child Care Provider Handbook (digital version and booklet)

A comprehensive guide to the requirements and responsibilities of child care providers and services approved under Family Assistance Law. It is recommended that all child care providers familiarise themselves with this document prior to applying for Child Care Subsidy.

 

 

DET website - Applying for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Approval

Steps to apply for CCS approval under the Family Assistance Law for the purposes of administering Child Care Subsidy assistance to eligible families. It is recommended that child care providers use this link as a guide to preparing their CCS application, however you will also find most of the information you need on this NHVic resource page.

 

Step 1 - Check if you are eligible to apply


A child care provider must hold the required approvals or licences to operate a child care service in their state. Please read the following fact sheets to assess whether your child care service is eligible to apply for CCS. Note there is a minimum operating period of 48 weeks per year; if you are not able to meet this requirement read the fact sheet Minimum Operating Periods - Special Circumstance Requirements and contact the CCS Assessment Team on 1800 112 812 to discuss your individual circumstances.

FACT SHEET – Aligning Child Care Subsidy Approval with National Law Approval

This fact sheet provides information about the two different child care approvals that are needed for a provider to be able to receive CCS payments.

FACT SHEET - Legal Entity Requirements for Child Care Subsidy Approval
This fact sheet explains the requirements for CCS applications with regard to the applicant’s legal entity, trustee and ABN status.

 

FACT SHEET - Provider and Service Eligibility Requirements
This fact sheet explains the requirements that both providers and services must meet in order to become approved for CCS payments.

 

FACT SHEET - Services ineligible for Child Care Subsidy Approval
This fact sheet explains the types of services that are ineligible for CCS approval because the service they provide to families is not primarily child care. It also describes how the department decides whether a service is primarily providing child care.

FACT SHEET - Child Care Subsidy Service Types
This fact sheet explains the different service types able to be CCS approved under the family assistance law. It also explains the different operational requirements and payment rates applying to each of the service types.

FACT SHEET -  Minimum Operating Periods - Special Circumstance Requirements
This fact sheet explains the minimum operating periods that approved services must operate for the purposes of CCS, and the assessment of special circumstances.

FACT SHEET – Determining the difference between Centre-based Day Care and Outside School Hours Care
This fact sheet explains how the Secretary will decide if a service approved as centre-based under the Education and Care Services National Law (the National Law) is a Centre-based Day Care service or an Outside School Hours Care service for the purposes of CCS approval.

 

Step 2 - Apply for National Law Approval (if relevant)

An eligibility requirement of CCS approval in almost all cases is that the provider and service are approved under Education and Care Service National Law referred to as the National Law. Read the following information on the following DET website and fact sheet to check you have approval under National Law (if relevant).

Note: Former Occasional Child Care providers in Victoria are not required to have approval under National Law. However, they do require a Licence to Operate a Children's Service (under the Children's Services Act 1996) which will need to be provided with your application.
 

DET website – Applying for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Approval

Click on the step Apply for National Law and read the information provided.

FACT SHEET – Aligning CCS Approval with National Law Approval

This fact sheet provides information about the two different child care approvals that are needed for a provider to be able to receive Child Care Subsidy (CCS) payments on behalf of the families using their service. It explains how approval under the family assistance law granted by the Australian Government is aligned with approval under the Education and Care Services National Law Act 2010 (the National Law) granted by the relevant state or territory child care regulatory authority.

 

Step 3 - Gather the required governance documents and information

As part of your CCS application you are required to provide evidence of governance. Simply put, an "organisation’s governance controls the manner in which its business is organised, managed and operated". Governance defines who makes the decisions, what policies or processes are adopted, how risks are managed and how the organisation remains financially viable.

The Department therefore needs to be satisfied that your organisation has sufficient administrative processes in place and is capable of managing your business in a way that protects the integrity of the money (paid to your organisation on behalf of the families), and in doing so comply with family assistance law. 

Firstly, what is Family Assistance Law?

To be compliant with Family Assistance Law, a child care provider essentially must do the right thing and show that they are doing the right thing, including:

  • Accepting the legal responsibilities associated with operating a child care service.
     

  • Ensuring all persons in management or control of the provider, and any person responsible for the day-to-day operation of the service are fit and proper persons to be involved in the administration of CCS. Click here for details.

  • Keeping accurate records. Click here for details. 
     

  • Showing evidence of current and appropriate insurance policies
     

What specific evidence of Governance is required for my CCS application?

CCS applications are assessed on a case by case basis, therefore the Governance requirements are not black and white as each organisation applying for CCS operates differently. Therefore, the Department is expecting your application to be specific to your own organisation - meaning they want to see how your business operates and what policies and procedures are in place governing your organisation.

When you submit your application online in the Provider Entry Point (PEP) there is a text field provided where you will have the option to complete a summary of how your organisation is governed, administered and structured and the business model used to deliver child care. The description can be set out in any manner e.g. using headings, dot points or continuous text. Importantly, the description will explain how that the organisation’s business plan supports its compliance with its CCS legislative obligations. As well as this text field you may also upload supporting documentation at the end of the submission.

The alternative is to omit the text field and simply upload your supporting documentation only. It is entirely up to you how much information you provide the DET and how easy you make it for them to locate the governance information being assessed.

FACT SHEET - Child Care Provider Governance Requirements

This fact sheet provides CCS applicants with information about the documents they may be required to include with their application for CCS provider approval.

FACT SHEET - Mandatory Documents for Child Care Subsidy Approval Applications

This fact sheet provides CCS applicants with information about the documents they may be required to include with their application for CCS provider approval. Mandatory documents include:
 

  • Evidence of provider entity type - applicants must confirm the provider’s legal entity status and provide the relevant documentation (i.e. certificate of incorporation).
     

  • Evidence of fit and proper checks - applicants must provide evidence that the required checks have been undertaken (i.e. screen shots or saved copies of checks).
     

Evidence of approval - applicants must hold (for each service) approvals or licences required to operate a child care service under the law of the state or territory in which the service is situated (i.e. Victorian Child Care Licence)

You will have the option to upload (a maximum of three) documents with your application.
 

Examples of these may include:
 

  1. Business Plan (refer to templates below)

  2. Committee of Management Handbook

  3. Parent Handbook

Business Plan

Your business plan may address the following (refer to template below):

  • Executive summary

  • Business profile

  • Business background

  • Operational details – such as hours of opening, inclusions and fee schedules

  • Organisational structure

  • Committee of management

  • Vision, values proposition, goals, values, key metrics

  • SWOT analysis

  • Financial summary – including proof that your business financial viable?

  • Budget summary

  • Investment and funding requirements

  • Community engagement

  • Governance and risk analysis

  • Assets
     

TEMPLATE - Business plan template

Policies and Procedures
 

It may also be of value to include policies and procedures or other evidence that supports your application such as:
 

CCS policy - You may wish to include a specific policy around the Child Care Subsidy and the management of CCS payments which addresses risk and fraud:

 

  • Rationale for CCS policy

 

  • Purpose of CCS policy

 

  • Responsibilities of persons of management and control of the provider (i.e. Neighbourhood House) interacting with CCS payments

 

  • Responsibilities of persons with day-to-day operation of the child care service interacting with CCS payments

 

  • Background checks for persons of management and control of the provider and persons with day-to-day operation of child care service

 

  • Software – access to software, roles, staff training and supervision e.g. Centre Coordinator, Child Care Coordinator, Bookkeeper, Parents/Guardians

 

  • Data quality – e.g.

    • Are random checks carried out?

    • Are there procedures to ensure information is accurate and not tampered with?

    • Who will submit the data? Are staff being supervised doing this?

    • Is there evidence to prove data provided to the Department is accurate? 

    • Is there staff system training for data reports?

    • Record keeping and notifications

    • Breach in policy

    • Complaints
       

Other policies:
 

  • Staff training policy

  • Emergency and evacuation policy and procedures

  • Fraud policy 

  • Risk management policy - TEMPLATE – Risk Management Template

  • Misconduct policy

  • Insurance policy

  • Record keeping policy

  • Workplace safety policy

  • Sample educator contract

HINT: Save your business plan, policies and any other related documents as one PDF file to upload with your application. A reminder that you can only upload three documents as supportive evidence.

Committee of Management Handbook
 

You may wish to include a Committee of Management Handbook as supporting documentation. This handbook could include:
 

  • Committee of Management Responsibilities

  • Committee of Management Code of Ethics

  • Committee of Management Background Checks

  • Governance Policy – Purpose, Legislation and other Governance in place

  • Approved Provider Details

  • Operational Structure                                                      

  • Operational Structure Diagram                                                         

  • Scope                                                                                                           

  • Staff and Committee Specific Policies

  • Position Descriptions e.g. President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, Maintenance, Social & Fundraising, Promotions & Communications, Grants

  • Committee Handover

Parent Handbook
 

You may wish to include copy of your Parent Handbook as supporting documentation, which could include:
 

  • Philosophy and Centre Structure

  • The Program

  • Qualified Staff Policy

  • Enrolment and Bookings

  • Fees and Payment Policy

  • Fraud Policy

  • Privacy Policy

  • Orientation to the Centre   

  • Non-Discrimination

  • Parental Involvement

  • Nutrition, Health and Safety Policy

    • Medications

    • Immunisations

    • Asthma

    • Childhood Illnesses

    • Hygiene

    • Health and Safety Checks

    • Toilet Training

    • Clothing

    • SunSmart Policy

    • Food Policy

    • Behaviour Guidance Policy

    • Mandatory Reporting

    • Emergency Evacuation Policy

 

 

 

Step 4 - Complete PRODA registrations


It is crucial to your CCS application that you understand the following Provider Digital Access System (PRODA) requirements. Cross checking is done by the Government and if the information submitted is incorrect/or missing then your application will most likely be rejected. It will then have to be resubmitted along with the proper registrations, so to avoid this please make sure the correct personnel are registered with PRODA. Please read the following fact sheets for descriptions of CCS specified personnel roles and information on the Child Care Subsidy IT System and PRODA.

FACT SHEET - Child Care Subsidy Specified Personnel Roles

This fact sheet explains the personnel roles that are described in the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) legislation. A CCS Provider must notify the department of persons in these roles within their organisation at the time of CCS application and later when the persons in those roles change.

Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Specified Personnel Quick Reference Guide

This reference guide shows the Specified Personnel Roles at a glance.

FACT SHEET - The Child Care Subsidy IT System
This fact sheet provides an overview of the Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) and the Provider Digital Access System (PRODA) and explains how they are used in the CCS approval process. It is recommended to read this fact sheet before registering for an individual PRODA or creating an organisational PRODA account.

Who needs an individual PRODA account?

All Board/Committee members and staff with management or control or decision making power of the provider (which means the legal entity or organisation) must register for an individual PRODA account.

HINT: Once registered for an individual PRODA your staff/committee members will receive an PRODA Registration Authority (RA) number - this number needs to be given to the person who will be lodging the CCS application as it is a requirement to upload with the application.

TASK CARD - How to Register for an Individual PRODA Account

This task card explains the steps that child care personnel should follow to register for an individual account in PRODA.

Who creates the organisational PRODA account?

The person listed as the Associate on the ABR must create the organisational PRODA account.

Note: This person may then delegate responsibility within PRODA to a staff member preparing the CCS application.

TASK CARD - How to Create and Link an Organisation Account in PRODA

This task card explains the steps that a provider must take to create an organisation account for its entity in PRODA and how to link that organisation to the Child Care Subsidy System.

TASK CARD - How to Add and Remove Members and Delegate Roles within your PRODA Organisation

This task card provides instructions on how to add or remove members of the Provider Digital Access (PRODA) organisation and delegate roles to members of the PRODA organisation so that they can perform PRODA functions.

Who needs to be linked to the organisational PRODA account?

Only one* Board/Committee member and/or staff with management or control or decision making power of the provider (which means the legal entity or organisation) must be linked to your organisational PRODA.
 

Note: *It is not a requirement to link your entire board to the organisational PRODA account. However, it is recommended that more than one person be linked to the organisational PRODA for the continuity of accessing the system. The number of people you link to the organisational PRODA is up to your individual organisation.

NHVic Resource Library – Step by Step Guide for Fit and Proper Checks & Individual PRODA Registration for Child Care Providers & their Boards

This resource has been produced to help guide child care providers and their Boards through the process of registering for individual PRODA accounts as well as undertake the required Fit and Proper Background Checks.

 

 

Step 5 - Undertake fit and proper checks for all personnel

A requirement of a CCS application is that you declare, and are able to provide evidence on request, that specified personnel are fit and proper and that the necessary checks have been undertaken. Documentary evidence of these checks must be attached to the application. The following information and fact sheet provides more information on what checks are required for each personnel role. When you are ready to carry out the fit and proper checks please refer to the below Guide from the NHVic Resource Library - Step by Step Guide for Fit and Proper Checks & Individual PRODA Registration for Child Care Providers & their Boards.

It is mandatory to carry out the following Fit and Proper checks for all Persons with Management or Control of the Provider (the legal entity) that operates the child care service (which includes Board/Committee members and Management Staff).

All Board/Committee members and Management Staff must undertake all of these fit and proper checks:

  • Police check

  • Working with children (if required)

  • Personal name search

  • Bankruptcy search

  • Banned and disqualified search
     

It is mandatory to carry out the following fit and proper checks for staff with day-to-day responsibility for operation of the child care service.

All staff with day-to-day responsibility for operation of child care service must undertake only these fit and proper checks:

  • Police check

  • Working with children

 

HINT: Save background checks as PDF files prior to uploading your application.
 

HINT: If you are having problems with any of the checks for such reasons as a change of name or lack of identification documents, please refer to the manual identity verification process below.

FACT SHEET - Fit and Proper Requirements for Child Care Providers and their Personnel

Child care providers who intend to apply for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) approval and existing providers who employ new personnel.

Step by Step Guide for Fit and Proper Checks & Individual PRODA Registrations

 NHVic Resource Library – Step by Step Guide for Fit and Proper Checks & Individual PRODA Registration for Child Care Providers & their Boards

This resource has been produced to help guide child care providers and their Boards through the process of registering for individual PRODA accounts as well as undertake the required Fit and Proper Background Checks. 

Manual Identity Verification
Having trouble getting a particular check done? In the case where you are having trouble with a board/committee or staff member being able to undertake these checks due to a lack of identity documentation or name change etc, there is a manual identity verification check that can be done online through PRODA. You will need to allow a couple of weeks for this process.

 

 

Step 6 - Submit your application online

Please read the following task card before you submit your application online through the Provider Entry Point (PEP). Specifically, you will need to familiarise yourself with the tips and required information on pages 1-2. Once you have identified this information you are ready to submit your application. The more prepared you are the quicker this process will be.

TASK CARD - How to Submit an Application to Become a CCS Approved Provider

This task card provides instructions on how to submit an online application to become an approved Child Care Subsidy (CCS) provider.

DET website - Applying for Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Approval

Click this link and read Step 6 - Submit your Application Online. Follow the steps in the Task Card above.

 

To start your online CCS application visit the Provider Entry Point here.

 

 

 

 

Step 7 - Wait for your approval decision 

DET website - Wait for your Approval Decision

Click this link and read the information under “Wait for your approval decision”

FACT SHEET - Readiness Guide for New Child Care Subsidy Approved Providers

This fact sheet is a guide to what you need to do once you are notified that you have granted Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Approval so that you can submit session reports for care you provide and pass on the payments to your families.

https://www.education.gov.au/applying-child-care-subsidy-ccs-approval

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