Flexible Hours: Frequently Asked Questions
What are the flexible hours options available to me?
Our centre is now offering nine-hour, ten-hour and full day sessions to support families to make the most out of the government’s Child Care Subsidy. They are called ‘flexible’ because they give families the flexibility to choose which hours best suit them.
What is the difference between sessional care and flexible hours?
Flexible hours provides flexibility for the child’s attendance at the centre to allow different start and finish hours each day. Other providers offer sessional care with specified start and finish times which may incur penalties if care is required outside of these times.
Does your centre benefit from offering flexible care?
The centre does not receive any additional revenue for the implementation of flexible hours. We benefit simply by being able to offer families quality, flexible options and a point of differentiation from other providers.
What is a grace period?
We understand life doesn’t always go to plan. That is why we have implemented a grace period of half an hour for the nine-hour session and one hour for ten-hour sessions that are scheduled within the centre’s normal operating hours. If parents opt for a full day then no grace period applies as this is outside of the centre’s normal operating hours.
Is there an associated fee increase with the implementation of flexible hours?
Families can be assured that there are no hidden fee increases within the flexible model with the hours offered for the one current centre fee rate.
Will I be charged extra if I go over my allocated hours?
Families who opt for nine hours have the luxury of a 30-minute grace period while those who opt for ten hours have an overall grace period of one hour. If they go over this time-period, provided it is not outside of the centre’s normal operating hours, there is no financial penalty. Families will simply have their attended hours adjusted.
I’m keen to investigate which option best suits my needs but I don’t want to disclose my income to my Centre Manager. How do I work out what solution is best for me?
Families can compare out of pocket costs and allocated subsidised hours by entering their own details on the Child Care Subsidy Calculator featured on this website.
My child has been regularly attending shorter hours of care. Will you backdate my fees?
Where possible we want to maximise the childcare subsidy entitlement for the family by back dating it. Please note, the government only permits changes to Child Care Subsidy submissions for up to 21 days prior to notification.
If I choose to change my hours do I need to contact Centrelink again?
A new Complying Written Arrangement (CWA) will be issued to your Centrelink account.
What is the maximum number of subsidised hours of care I may be eligible for each fortnight?
Families eligibility for subsidised care is determined by an activity test. The maximum hours a family may access is 100 hours per fortnight. To determine what you may be eligible for visit www.humanservices.gov.au.