PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July.
PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July. Mike Knott BUN010818CHILDCARE3

Bundy child care owner hasn't been paid in five weeks

A 25-YEAR-OLD Bundaberg woman has been waiting to be paid in full for more than five weeks.

That wait ends today.

Educator Jasmine Sharpe has been running her own child care business for the past seven months without a hitch.

The young carer looks after four children every weekday while spending the rest of her time studying.

That smooth ride ended on July 2, when the federal Child Care Subsidy changes took effect.

Ms Sharpe said since the nation-wide rollover, she and other fellow educators had been given the "run-around".

"The problems are spread across Australia. It affects educators with all different providers," she said.

Educator Jasmin Sharpe and Elijah and Ethan Bishop.
Educator Jasmin Sharpe and Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Mike Knott BUN010818CHILDCARE1

Ms Sharpe told the NewsMail while Southern Cross Family Day Care happened to be her provider, issues with payments and lack of communication between educators, the Federal Government, Centrelink, parents and providers did not stem from just one place.

"I haven't been able to access invoices online. I couldn't log on with my third party provider either," she said.

"Educators are having trouble with invoicing, receiving, checking child attendance and doing observations on a child."

Speaking exclusively to the NewsMail, Southern Cross manager Kathy Ellem said ever since the subsidy had rolled over, there had been a misconception that providers were being paid in full and that payments had been delayed before being passed onto educators.

"This is not the case," she said.

"Since the roll out, providers nationally have been progressing through help lines, raising complaints and voicing concerns from educators.

"(The) Child Care Management System have advised that they are aware of the delays and are working with software providers to update their programs to suit the new system ... This issue is being felt nationally."

Ms Sharpe said since the subsidy changes, children weren't linking up between Centrelink and educators' systems properly either.

"At this point I just want simplicity," she said.

PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July.
PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July. Mike Knott BUN010818CHILDCARE4

"I wasn't paid for about five weeks ... I got small sums, but not the whole amount.

"Every educator has been affected by this differently, but I know that if someone lives off their wages, that's a lot of money to miss out on.

"People are missing out. They can't just expect us to have six weeks of wages saved up. It's not like were sitting on the dole. We're actually trying to work for our money but we're just not getting paid,

"The government is saying they'll back pay to providers, but then others are saying it'll be back paid to parents."

A spokesperson for the Department of Education and Training said "If an educator believes they are owed money or have been paid incorrectly by their Family Day Care provider, they need to discuss that with their provider.

"There is nothing preventing Family Day Care providers from paying their educators," the spokesperson said.

But Ms Sharpe claimed she, like other educators, were simply being "stuffed-around".

PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July.
PAYMENT FAIL: Jasmin Sharpe with Elijah and Ethan Bishop. Jasmin is struggling with the Federal Government's Child Care Subsidy changes, which rolled over in July. Mike Knott BUN010818CHILDCARE6

"The Federal Government will tell you the payments have gone through and to take it up with their provider. The providers say to contact the government," she said.

"Why did they change it if they weren't ready for it?"

On Thursday morning Ms Sharpe received an email that stated she would be paid in full by the end of today. This followed after her story aired on local TV news.

"It looks like it'll be fixed on Friday," Ms Sharpe said. "It's happened overnight."

If child care providers have issues with the subsidy, they can contact the department's CCS helpdesk.



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