CCMS – What is it?

CCMS  – What is it?

Introduction

CCMS stands for Child Care Management System. This article is all about the Australian government system to manage childcare payments for parents and to assist them with the affordability of child care.

The Government endeavours to help working families with their child care costs. This is achieved when the government subsidises the cost of care via payments using the CCMS.

These government payments are made every week and are called CCB (Child Care Benefits.) There are also other types of payments for different purposes. For example, CCR (Child Care Rebate) for those who are eligible or the JETS allowance for parents who are studying.

To receive these weekly rebates, the child must be enrolled in an “approved” child care service. A service must be approved by ACEQA to ensure that all services meet the education and care standard approved by them.  In the childcare industry this is called Assesment and rating (sometimes referred to as Accreditation.)

 

Service Types Include

  • Long Day Care (LDC)
  • Outside School Hours (OOSH), comprising of:
    •  Before School Care (BSC)
    • After School Care (ASC)
    • Vacation Care (VAC)
  • Kindergarten
  • Family Day Care (FDC), In Home Care (IHC)
  • Occasional Care (OCC)
  • Preschool, Prep
  • Early Learning Centre (ELC)

 

The process is simply

  1. The child attends an approved service
  2. At the end of the week the service makes a claim to the government to receive the CCB money.
  3. Approximately 3 days later the government pays the money.
  4. The parent pays any outstanding fees to the service; these outstanding fees are often called the ‘Gap’.

 

A Closer Look

1. The child attends an approved service.

As an example, the child attends for two days and gets charged $100. The parent sign’s the attendance book or “sign-in-sheet’ to record that their child is in attendance.

 

2. The service makes a claim for CCB

At the end of the week, the Service sends an electronic attendance record to the government to get paid.  This electronic attendance record is sent to the governments’ computer in Canberra to a system they call the CCMS which is stands for Child Care Management System.  This system was started in 2008 to replace paper claim forms or floppy disk which was send by post.

To send attendance records to the CCMS the service requires software often referred to as “CCMS software”.  This is not provided by the government but is regulated by them.  A child care service needs to use a Government registered supplier, in the industry these are referred to as “Registered CCMS software providers”.  The operator of this website has been qualified as a registered supplier since the CCMS started in 2008 (details here.)  A full list of suppliers can be found at CCMS Software Providers.

 

3. The Government pays the money

On receiving the electronic attendance, the Government’s CCMS computer begins to process the claim for payment.  Inside the CCMS, the computer needs to talk to a number of other government departments to process the request.  After collecting all the relevant information it makes a determination on each attendance record.  It then calculates the money owed and sends a request to the Reserve Bank which results in a bulk payment to the child care Service.  Please be aware that a parent can elect the money to be paid directly to them instead of the service.  Generally services discourage this as it requires the parent to pay a full fee to the service.

 

4. Parent pays the Gap

After the service receives the payment from the Government it is credited to the parents account.  For example if the bill for the week was $100 and the government payed $80 in CCB, then the parent has to pay the gap of $20.

 

To understand the CCMS further please refer to the following articles: