FAQs

About Austral Cloud

Austral Cloud was developed approximately 9 years ago by childcare operators to manage its administration and business systems.

Do you need guidance to help start up your new childcare service? We have:

icon-tick Certified practicing XERO advisors.

icon-tick Business mentors to assist you with any support you may need to develop your business. All Quality Child Care (AQCC) personnel combine a wealth of knowledge and experience to provide a range of competitive skills including:

  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Out of School Hours Education and Care
  • Child Care Management Systems
  • Management views with proven concepts
  • Project management for new services setup
  • Accounting and bookkeeping
  • Cloud-based product development of CCMS software for the past 6 years
  • Web site support
  • Information Technology for business services and Parent Portal

Training and support:

  • Staff management
  • Financial control, budgets, cash flow, pricing reviews and policies
  • Upgrade to policy and procedures
  • Maintenance to buildings and equipment
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Corporate governance
  • Bookkeeping, XERO training

 

For further information call 02 9939 0998.

To read more about CCMS for New Child Care Services, click here.

CCMS - What is it?

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

The Government endeavors 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 Assessment and rating (sometimes referred to as Accreditation).

For more information about CCMS, click here.

What does 'Help Desk Support' mean?

In your first 2 months with Austral Cloud we provide phone and email support between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday. Email helpdesk@australcloud.com.au or click on Help Desk link found on each page of CCMS software and follow questions.

For Family Day Care schemes phone support after initial training is 4 hours over the first 2 months.

For LDC, phone support is after initial training of 2 hours across 2 months.

Training is provided in your first month. It is 2 hours and includes help guides, set up of rooms, Educators and fees for your service. The 2 hours can be broken down into smaller portions

Webinars are available when required. We use GoToMeeting for this service.

If premium help desk support is required, after your first 2 months, this can be provided for $150+gst. This support includes 4 hours phone support and further training above the normal help desk support.

How do I read PARENT accounts?

Our software operates almost like a bank and online banking statement.

If all parents used their login to look at their statement online, it may make more sense. As ours is ‘live’ it updates automatically which means the amount for a past statement may not be the same if it has had an attendance corrected or any CCB change as such. If they log in themselves then they can set the dates to show any date range including from when they first started with us.

If you want to explain to parents that it is the same as online banking statement it may make more sense.

  • FEES – Come out – so they are a DEBIT
  • CCB/CRR – is what comes in – so they are a CREDIT
  • EXPECTED – what is expected to come in from CCB/CCR – so this is a CREDIT (Note: There should be no old attendances with expected CCB – see service home page – this shows you what’s outstanding).
  • Payment Received – What is taken from the account at the time (within the 12 hr period before).

When looking at the account you can always look at the Email History (stored under Email History) of the account that has been sent to the Parent. This provides a snapshot at the time as it is a ‘live’ statement changes after the statement date and email may make changes.

We recommend any scheduled payments using Austral Cloud Payment Gateway be on Fridays to ensure CCB/CCR is paid from CCMS. This can upset the statement when CCMS delay processing.

Ideally you want all parent accounts to return to 0.00 at the end of each week or fortnight (billing cycle). If they are not, then look at why? Incorrect CCB? Multiple children? CCR not coming in on time?

For more information about how to read Parent accounts, click here.

How do I get paid?

Using the Austral CCMS Payment Gateway for Fee Collection.

How do Educators get paid?

Educator payments can be made directly from Austral Cloud to the Educator. The scheme requires bank details from the Educator to transfer funds. Austral CCMS Payment Gateway can only CREDIT Educator accounts.

All payments made to the Educator must be recorded on Austral CCMS Educator statement. Parent Fees collected using the Austral CCMS Payment Gateway automatically update the PARENT statement. The EDUCATOR statement assumes the Scheme is using the Payment Gateway.

Payments made to the Educator using Austral CCMS are recorded automatically on the EDUCATOR statement.

Read more information here about what to do if a parent pays cash to an Educator.

Read more information here about how to transfer funds to company account or Educator.

When do I get paid?

Coming soon!

How do I pay my Subscriptions to Austral Cloud?

Austral Cloud CCMS software use Direct Debit payment method only. If you pay annually then different payment options may be available.

  • You will be invoiced monthly.
  • Your first invoice will be created one month after you start using Austral CCMS. This will include the initial setup fee.
  • Fees are charged monthly in advance based on the number of licensed places for Long Day Care Services and the number of Educators for a Family Day Care Scheme.
  • Educator Fees are based on a snapshot on or around the 23rd of each month. This fee is added to your invoice.
  • Payment terms are seven (7) days.
  • Pricing is in Australian Dollars.
  • Invoices are sent to your nominated email address with a payment due date included. The payment due date is when the amount will be debited from your account. This usually occurs 7-10 days after the invoice is sent.
  • Pricing does not include GST or other taxes.

Why isn’t my attendance being created?

Sometimes having finished the Attendance Wizard, you may find that the attendance record has not been created as expected. Attendance is only created if you choose a date which is viable. For instance, if you choose a public holiday, the system won’t allow it to be created. Please check the 6 reasons below to locate why the attendance is not being created?

  • An attendance already exists for this child/ week / service. If an attendance that is in the “Created” or “Returned with Errors” status is in existence, then a new one will not be created. Check what filter you are using. Fix “Returned with Errors” records by reading the error message at the bottom of the screen. If you don’t understand the error message it is often just easier to delete it and try again.
  • The child enrolment hasn’t started yet. Check the “Start Date” of the enrolment. Type in an earlier start date (should be a Monday) then click save.
  • The expected session group (room) dates show that the child has not started yet. Check the start date in “Expected Session Group” in child’s enrolment. Change date if appropriate. NB This field can be empty.
  • The expected session group (room) dates show the child has left that room. Check end date in “Expected Session Group” in child’s enrolment. Change date if appropriate. NB This field can be empty.
  • When you go through the wizard you are selecting an old enrolment. Look at the dates when deciding which enrolment to use.
  • You have said the days (or days) are a public holiday in the Setup.
  • Educator doesn’t have CCMS Personnel record.

How do I set up a payment schedule?

In order to set up Parent Payment Schedule, click here.

How do I work out the rate of JET?

JET Child Care Fee Assistance will apply to Child Care Benefit approved child care sessions while you are undertaking approved JET Child Care Fee Assistance activities.

This assistance can help you meet the cost of child care by paying some of the gap fee. The gap fee is the difference between the amount you are charged and the amount you get for Child Care Benefit. You will need to make a contribution of $1 per hour per child to your child care service.

If you are a teenage parent completing your secondary education or equivalent study, you will pay a contribution of $0.10 per hour per child. This will apply up until the end of the calendar year you turn 20 years of age.

JET Child Care Fee Assistance will be paid up to a maximum amount and may increase each financial year in line with the Consumer Price Index. The maximum amount for 2015-16 is $8.14 per hour per child. The maximum amount for 2014-15 was $8 per hour per child.

If you use more assistance hours than you are entitled to, you will have to pay the cost for these additional hours if it is more than the Child Care Benefit. You may also be eligible for Child Care Rebate which will provide you with 50% of your out of pocket child care costs up to the annual limit.

To read more about JET Child Care Fee Assistance, click here.

What to do if attendance is returned with errors?

For information about how to manage attendances returned with errors, click here.

What reports do I run, when do I run them and how?

  • Accounts Receivable
  • Aged Debtors report
  • Payment History
  • Miscellaneous Statement Entries for Parent and Educators
  • FDC Educator Accounts Receivable Detail & Summary
  • FDC Educator Payment History
  • Query Payments by CCB Approval
  • Weekly Vacancy reports

Austral CCMS is a multi-user software system and you can provide access to your accountant or bookkeeper to view the reports they need to manage your financial reporting needs. It is important to keep your password secure. Do not share passwords.

For information how to run Aged Debtors Report, click here.

For information how to submit Weekly Vacancy Reports, click here.

For information how to run Parent Email Address Report, click here.

When to contact CCMS?

Software providers do not have control or knowledge over the information that is entered into the software that will impact a client’s account. This is up to the administrator on behalf of the Child Care Service. It is not up to Austral CCMS or its agents to interpret the Family Assistance Laws, Legislation and operating methods.

If in doubt, always call Government CCMS Help Desk for clarification.

How do I set up my Family Day Care Scheme?

Austral CCMS software solutions is proud to be fully compliant with the Department of Education Business Model for Family Day Care Schemes.

  1. FDC Business Model Fact Sheet
  2. Key obligations of a FDC Service Fact Sheet
  3. Key obligations of a FDC educator Fact Sheet
  4. Family Day Care pricing arrangements

 

Questions to consider:

  • How are you going to collect fees from parents?
  • How are you going to pay your Educators?
  • Are you billing in arrears or advance?

 

More useful reading:

How do I enrol a child?

For information about how to enrol a child, click here.

What do I do if a child is leaving?

How do I add a new FDC Educator?

For information about how to add a new FDC Educator, click here.

How do I add FDC Educator or other staff as CCMS personnel?

For information about how to add FDC Educator to CCMS personnel, click here.

For information about how to add other staff to CCMS personnel, click here.

How do I pass on the FDC Educator fee?

The Educator software fee is $5 per month or $60 per annum. This can be paid by the scheme to Austral CCMS or the scheme can choose to pass the fee onto the Educators.

You can choose when to charge the Educator fee. The Scheme is charged in advance based on the number of Educators the previous month.

For information about how to add bulk entries to Educator Statements, click here.

How do I read an EDUCATOR accounts?

The educator statement is not like a bank statement. It is rather a running balance of what is owed to you and what you owe to the scheme. For instance, you start with a zero balance, you look after some children for the week so you are owed say $2,100 when you add up all the children’s fees. These show on your Educator Statement as the TOTAL fee you are owed (parent fee + CCB/CCR).

It will show up on your statement under the CREDIT column because it is putting a positive balance on your account thus INCREASING what is owed to you.

When the scheme pays you this money, the $2,100 is put on your account as a DEBIT because it is DECREASING the amount owed to you because they just paid it. Similarly, the Service Fees you owe the scheme, is placed under the DEBIT column because it DECREASES the amount of money owed to you.

So in simple terms:

  • Parent Fees = Credit Column
  • Payment from scheme TO Educator = Debit Column
  • Service Fees = Debit Column

The Educator’s Statement will and should look the same in the scheme’s log in as it does in the Educator’s log in.

If payments are made in cash to the Scheme or Educator they must be recorded on the Educator account and the Parent account.

These payments are a Debit to the Educator account (money paid to them) and a CREDIT on the Parent account (money paid from them).

For more information about how to read and Educator accounts, click here.

How to add entries to Multiple Educators Accounts?

For information of how to add entries to multiple Educators accounts, click here.

How to use Educator Portal?

Austral CCMS have a fabulous Educator portal that allows the Educator to access Child and Parent details and account information. The Educator can print sign in sheets, mark absences, email the service and update their details. Please note the Scheme must still submit the attendances to CCMS for payment.

The cost of the Software is $5 per month or $60 per annum. The Scheme can choose to pass the fee onto Educators or absorb the cost.

For information about how to set up Educator Portal, click here.

For information about how to use Educator Portal, click here.

How to set up Pre-School Indicator?

In order to set up Pre-Scool indicator for brand new session groups or already created attendances, click here.

How do I use the online waitlist and online enrolment system for parents?

Can I customise forms and reports?

Yes, please advise what report you require, or if you have a found one of our reports but you need more information we can customise this for you. To customise the report features of Austral CCMS the fee is $150 +gst as a minimum charge. A quote will be provided to you before any agreement to carry out the work is reached.

You will be invoiced 50% to start and the final payment upon completion of report. You will have opportunity to view draft version and make minor changes as needed. Please contact the Help Desk for further information helpdesk@australcloud.com.au.