CCS (Child Care Subsidy) Governance Policy (QA7)

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Woodlands - CCS Governance Policy

The Governance Policy provides overall direction, effectiveness, supervision and accountability of service.  Management is responsible for guiding the direction of the service, ensuring that its goals and objectives are met in line with the philosophy, and all legal and regulatory requirements governing the operation of the service and the application and distribution of CCS.

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 7: Governance and Leadership

7.1

Governance

Governance supports the operation of a quality service

7.1.2

Management Systems

Systems are in place to manage risk and enable the effective management and operation of the service

7.1.3

Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined, and understood and support effective decision making and operation of the service

 

Family Assistance Law

A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999

67EB

Payments to providers of individuals’ entitlements to CCS or ACCS by fee reduction

67EE

Payments to provider in respect of providers own entitlement to be paid ACCS (Child Wellbeing)

194E  G(i)

In determining whether or not the provider is fit and proper, the Secretary may consider the arrangements the person has to ensure the person complies with the Family Assistance Law

194E  G(ii)

In determining whether or not the provider is fit and proper, the Secretary may consider the arrangements the person has to ensure anyone the person who is responsible for managing complies with the Family Assistance Law

 

Related Policies

 

Purpose

Woodlands aims to ensure all legal and financial requirements are implemented and recognised through appropriate governance practices, in accordance with the Family Assistance Law.

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management and visitors of the Service.

 

Implementation

Governance is the process by which Woodlands is directed, controlled and held accountable to ensure the right decisions are made.

 The Approved Provider and Nominated Supervisor of Woodlands accept the legal responsibilities associated with establishing and administering the Service. Woodlands has the following established positions:

Owners

The owners of the business license and investors in the service.

Approved Provider

The Person/s approved and registered with ACECQA as those with overarching responsibility for the management of the service and compliance

Nominated Supervisor (PMC)

The person appointed by the approved Provider to have responsibility for the day to day running of the service and any discussions regarding CCS

Centre Manager of Administration

A person appointed by Approved Provider to manage the Administration and parent accounts and application of CCS, for the service.  This may be the Nominated Supervisor

 

The Approved Provider is responsible for:

  • Complying with family assistance law
  • Appointing a Nominated Supervisor, an Educational Leader and a Centre Manager of Administration for the Service
  • Supporting the Nominated Supervisor [Responsible Persons] in their role, providing adequate resources (Xplor Childcare Management Software) and Training upon appointment, and regular ongoing webinar access in Xplor to ensure effective administration of the Service
  • Being an employer
  • Complying with funding agreements where appropriate
  • Ensuring Woodlands remains financially viable and can meet its debts and other obligations as they fall due
  • Managing control and accountability systems
  • Complying with all other Victorian and Australian governments’ legislation that impacts upon the management and operations of a Service.
  • Acting honestly and with due diligence
  • Developing coherent aims and goals that reflect the interests, values and beliefs of all stakeholders of Woodlands
  • Developing a clear and agreed philosophy which guides business decisions and the work of Management and staff
  • Ensuring there is a sound foundation of policies and procedures that complies with all legislative and regulatory requirements, and that enables the daily operation of Woodlands to be in line with the Woodland’s philosophy and goals.
  • Maintaining up to date and current policies and procedures for compliance by all Educators.
  • Establishing clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the members of the Management Committee and staff, individually and as a collective - clearly articulate the relationship between all stakeholders.
  • Reviewing the Service’s budget and monitoring financial performance and management to ensure Woodlands is solvent at all times and has good financial strength.
  • Approving annual financial statements and providing required reports to government setting and maintaining appropriate delegations and internal controls.
  • Appointing staff and monitoring their performance
  • Evaluating and improving the performance of the Management Team
  • Ensuring all employees have a clear understanding of the hierarchy of management
  • Reviewing the work process regularly
  • Providing clear, and direct feedback and instruction that is suitable and communicated in writing.

 

The Nominated Supervisor is responsible for:

  • Adhering to the Family Assistance Law
  • Developing ethical standards and a code of conduct which guides actions and decisions in a way that is consistent and reflective of Woodlands expectations
  • Undertaking periodical planning and risk assessments and having appropriate risk management strategies in place to manage risks faced by the Service
  • Ensuring that the actions of and decisions made are clear and consistent and will help build confidence in all stakeholders
  • The day to day management of Woodlands 
  • Completing training with parents and Educators on the use of Xplor (hub and app-based) platform to ensure the accurate electronic recording of attendance data for all children in attendance
  • Ensuring regular checks are undertaken to confirm attendance records are completed accurately by close of business Friday in preparation for Xplor to auto-submit on Friday evening
  • Providing Parents with current Payment of Fee policy documents outlining the family’s responsibility for payment of fees, requirements for the application of CCS, management of children’s allowable and additional absences, including but not limited to Public Holiday charges and application of Holiday discounts

 

CCS (Child Care Subsidy) Reporting:

Sign In/Out:

  • Xplor Childcare Management software allows parents, educators and administrators/directors to sign children in/out digitally and the software records the actual time a child was both signed in and out of Woodlands.
  • Digital attendances are completed by verified users which include Parents, Educators, and Centre Manager of Administration using a unique email and mobile phone number authorised by Centre Manager of Administration

Attendances:

  • Digital attendees are recorded and logged into the Xplor software which automatically marks the children's attendances and includes:
    1. The user who signed the child in/out
    2. Time & Date (Includes the hour, minutes & seconds)
  • Each week on Friday night Xplor automatically submits the attendance to CCS.  It is the responsibility of the Centre Manager of Administration to check and confirm attendances prior to the close of business Friday

Reporting - (Ensuring the data is correct)

Children's sessions and digital attendances are logged as a record in the following:

  • Xplor's Master Roll (Sessions, Bookings)
  • Child's Digital Profile (Attendance)
  • Parent App
  • Parent Statement
  • Educator App
  • Attendance Reports (Attendance List & Attendance Summary)

Systems Training and Staff Responsible:

Woodlands has access to Xplor CCS Training to develop and support staff who are authorised and appointed to manage CCS accounts which includes:

  • Online knowledgebase articles and videos
  • CCS Support and Training Line 7:00 am - 7:00 pm (Phone, Chat, Email)
  • Account Manager and CCS Specialists - Brian Hammett 
  • In-person CCS training provided by Xplor
  • Certified By Xplor to manage CCS (Child Care Subsidy)

 

Fraud Prevention and Management

Woodlands acknowledges that the service may be subject to fraudulent activity and therefore implements effective prevention strategies to minimize legal and financial exposure.  Woodlands will not tolerate fraud in any aspect of its operations.  Woodland will investigate any suspected acts of fraud, misappropriation or other irregularity.  

Only authorised users, verified by the licensed provider, have access to manage CSS accounts and entitlements.

  • Xplor tracks specific actions in the system which can be reviewed on request
  • Authorised individuals are required to change their Xplor Admin password every three months
  • Xplor Admin password is changed if an authorised person leaves Woodlands. This is completed by the Owner- Fay Woodland who is the only member with Administration access to Xplor

An objective and impartial investigation will be conducted as necessary.  Any fraud will be grounds for dismissal.  Any serious case of fraud, including suspect, will report to the relevant and appropriate authorities such as the police and ombudsman.  Any person who suspects fraud related to the operations of Woodlands, is required to immediately report it to a member of the management team; and shall not be penalized for doing so. 

The Approved provider has the ultimate responsibility for the prevention and detection of fraud and is responsible for ensuring that appropriate effective and internal control systems are in place.  The approved provider is responsible for appointing an appropriate party to deal with and investigate instances of fraud reported to Woodlands.

 

Responding to suspected Fraud

  • Upon notification of an allegation of fraud, the Approved provider will promptly arrange to carry out an initial review into the allegation
  • After an initial review and a determination that the suspected fraud warrants further investigation, the Approved provider will coordinate the investigation with the appropriate law enforcement officials or external investigator, as necessary.  Legal representatives will be involved in the process, as deemed appropriate.
  • Once a suspected fraud is reported, immediate action will be taken to prevent the theft, alteration or destruction of relevant records.  Actions may include, but are not limited to, removing the records, and placing in a secure location, limiting access to the records; and preventing access to the records by the individual suspected of committing the fraud. 
  • If an allegation of fraud is substantiated by the investigation, disciplinary actions up to and including dismissal shall be taken by the approved provider.
  • Woodlands will also pursue every reasonable effort, including court-ordered restitution, to obtain recovery of any losses from the offender

 

IT Management

Xplor is a closed web and app-based software program, which is only accessible via an invitation from the system, once a family or staff member have provided a legitimate, individual email address.  Accounts are only activated by the Centre Manager of Administration once enrolment or employment has been commenced.  The Centre Manager of Administration is responsible for ensuring that accounts are deemed inactive, thereby removing previous access, at the end of enrolment or employment, as necessary.

Woodlands choose to use Apple-based hardware- PC’s, Laptops, iPods and iPads to assist with the management of internet security.

The IT used by the Centre Manager of Administration is protected with a password issued the Manager and is set by the Approved Provider.

In the event, hardware requires service or upgrade the approved provider is notified and arranges requirements as necessary

 

Confidentiality

All members of the Management Team along with Educators and Staff who gain access to confidential information, whether in the course of their work or otherwise, shall not disclose information to anyone unless the disclosure of such information is required by law and will respect the confidentiality of all documents and meetings that occur. This also includes:

  • Using information acquired for their personal or financial benefit, or for the benefit of any other person
  • Permitting any unauthorised person to inspect, or have access to any confidential documents or other information.

 This obligation, placed on a member of the Management Team, Educator sand Staff shall continue even after the individual has completed their term and is no longer on the Management Team or employed by Woodlands.

The obligation to maintain confidentiality also applies to any person who is invited to any meetings of the Management Team.

 

Maintenance of Records

  • Woodlands will adhere to maintaining Family statement of accounts with a minimum of 2 weeks CCS and attendance in arrears and 2 weeks estimate in advance. Family Statement of accounts will also include accurate electronic attendance data
  • The Service will adhere to the storage of confidential records outlined in the National Regulations.
  • The Service has a responsibility to keep sufficient records about staff, families and children in order to operate dependably and lawfully.
  • The Service will safeguard the interests of the children and their families and the staff, using procedures to ensure appropriate privacy and confidentiality practice is upheld
  • The Approved Provider assists in determining the process, storage place and timeline for storage of records.
  • The Service's orientation and induction processes will include the provision of significant information to managers, educators, children and families to comply with Family Assistance Law.
  • The Approved Provider and the Nominated Supervisor will provide the Accountant with relevant income and expenditure reports, monthly or as requested, for auditing to ensure accountability and financial compliance.
  • The Approved Provider will need to ensure that the record retention procedure meets the requirements of the following government departments:
    1. Australian Tax Office (ATO)
    2. Family Assistance Office (FAO)
    3. Early Childhood Education and Community (ECEC)

 

Managing conflicts of interest

  • Conflict of interest, whether actual, potential or perceived, must be declared by all members of the Management Team, Senior Staff and managed effectively to ensure integrity.
  • Every stakeholder that is in a position of management has a responsibility to ensure their transactions, external business interests and relationships will not provide potential conflicts and to make such disclosures in a timely manner as they arise.

 

The following process will be followed to manage any conflicts of interest:

  • Whenever there is a conflict of interest, the member concerned must notify the Approved Provider about the conflict
  • The member who is conflicted must not be present during the Management meeting where the matter is being discussed, or participate in any decisions made on that matter. The member concerned must provide the Approved Provider with any and all relevant information they possess on the particular matter.
  • The minutes of the meeting must reflect that the conflict of interest was disclosed and appropriate processes followed to manage the conflict.
  • A Conflict of interest disclosure statement must be completed by each member of the Management team upon his or her appointment and annually thereafter. If the information in this statement changes during the year, the member shall disclose the change to the Approved Provider, and revise the disclosure statement accordingly. 

 

 Source

 

Review

Policy Reviewed

Modifications

Next review Date

October 2019

New Policy created to meet renewed Family assistance governance requirements 

February 2020

 

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