What is an ACCS Certificate:
A certificate can be given for up to six weeks. This allows providers to respond to emerging situations by giving practical support to ensure that, for children who are ‘at risk’, the cost of child care is not a barrier to either entering or remaining engaged with child care.
The provider is required to make and/or keep a record of any evidence that supports their consideration that a child is ‘at risk’ (for example, file notes). However, this evidence does not need to be provided to the Department of Human Services for the purpose of giving a certificate.
Both the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services can request to see or receive this evidence at any time. While a certificate is in effect, the higher ACCS (child wellbeing) subsidy rate is paid. The rate applies to all enrolments of the child at the service; however, it does not apply to their enrolment at other services or providers.
When to apply for a Certificate:
A provider can give a certificate providing immediate access to ACCS (child wellbeing) if:
they consider the child is or was ‘at risk’ (in accordance with the ACCS (child wellbeing) definition) at the time care was provided.
certificate(s)for the same child have not been given for the same service and the same provider for a total of six weeks in a 12-month period (12-month rule)
the service is below its percentage limit (50 per cent rule) (More information on the 50 per cent rule here: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/2019-11-28_-_accs_guide_0.pdf)
This also applies when the provider is eligible to receive ACCS (child wellbeing) because an eligible individual cannot be identified. Note that services will be required to issue a certificate or certificates (totalling sixweeks) every 12 months for a child where the above conditions are met and the child remains ‘at risk’.
More Information here:
What is an ACCS Determination:
Once a provider has given a certificate or certificates in relation to the child at a service for six weeks in any 12-month period, or if they are over the ACCS cap percentage for their service, the provider can make an application to the Department of Human Servicesfor a determination in relation to additional periods. The application must be accompanied by evidence or a statutory declaration that supports the provider’s view that the child continues to be ‘at risk’.
A statutory declaration from the approved provider is acceptable to support only the initial determination and only where third-party evidence is not available.
Where the provider anticipates that a child will continue to be ‘at risk’, it is recommended that they apply for a determination at the earliest occasion to ensure continuity of payment.
If the child continues to be ‘at risk’ after the initial 13-week determination then, to avoid delays in payment, the provider needs to lodge a subsequent determination application to the Department of Human Services before the previous one has ceased.
Please note that evidence needs to be dated less than six months old from the commencement date of a determination.
When to apply for a Determination:
A provider can apply for a determination only if they consider the child is or was ‘at risk’ (in accordance with the ACCS (child wellbeing) definition) at the time care was provided and the provider is unable to give a certificate because either:
the service has exceeded its percentage limit (50 per cent rule) (More information on the 50 per cent rule here: https://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/2019-11-28_-_accs_guide_0.pdf)
the child has been given a certificate previously for the same service and the same provider for a total of six weeks in a 12-month period. This includes situations where the child is currently on a six-week ‘at risk’ certificate (12-month rule).
This also applies when the provider is eligible to receive ACCS (child wellbeing) because an eligible individual cannot be identified.