The ACCS, CCCF and the Inclusion Support Program (ISP), together known as the Child Care Safety Net, continued to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children and communities.
To meet eligible criteria for ACCS (child wellbeing), applicants must provide recent supporting evidence, which is less than six months old, from a third party such as a health or social work professional to meet the eligibility criteria. In quarter 2 of 2019–20, 18,630 children received ACCS (child wellbeing) payments, an increase of 67 per cent compared to the same quarter in 2018.
ACCS (temporary financial hardship) payments supported families affected by the bushfires and who lost income due to COVID-19. Applications for these payments must also be supported by evidence, such as a fire report or employment separation certificate. In quarter 3 of 2019–20, children in receipt of this support more than doubled compared to the same quarter the previous year.
Community Child Care Fund
Under the CCCF more than $126 million was paid to support child care
services and early childhood measures for vulnerable and disadvantaged or Indigenous communities. More than 1,000 services are funded under CCCF for up to five years (from July 2018). CCCF Special Circumstances funding increased in 2019–20 from $4 million to approximately $31 million.
Inclusion Support Program
The ISP provided more than $113 million to support CCS approved early childhood education and care services. Under the program seven Inclusion Agencies are contracted to support services and review applications for ISP. An Inclusion Development Fund (IDF) manager is also contracted to provide nationally consistent and equitable management of the IDF, assess all IDF applications against the eligibility criteria, and undertake regular compliance checks to ensure funding is being used in accordance with the approved application.
During COVID-19, a number of changes were made to the program to ensure continued access to ISP funding to include children with additional needs.