6-7 The Frequent Absence Rule
The Frequent Absence Rule ensures that enrolment agreements match attendance patterns as accurately as possible, so that funding can be delivered fairly and accurately.
- explains the Frequent Absence Rule and
- describes when and how to apply the Frequent Absence Rule.
For examples of the Frequent Absence Rule, please refer to Section 6-8.
Frequent Absence Rule
A child’s attendance must match their enrolment agreement for at least half (i.e. 50 per cent or more) of each calendar month.
Enrolment agreements can become outdated. Parents or guardians might not notify services when their child’s attendance will be changing, or attendance may evolve over time.
The Frequent Absence Rule helps services identify absence patterns that suggest a change in enrolment may be needed. By keeping enrolment agreements up-to-date, services can ensure that their funding is calculated accurately.
When to apply the Frequent Absence Rule
The Frequent Absence Rule must be applied in these three situations:
- when a child is absent on the same enrolled day or days of the week for more than half of these days in a calendar month or
- when a child attends for fewer days per week than they are enrolled to attend, in more than half of the weeks in a calendar month or
- when a child attends fewer hours than they are enrolled to attend, on a daily basis, on more than half of their enrolled days in a calendar month (note: this does not apply to sessional services).
How to apply the Frequent Absence Rule
To apply the Frequent Absence Rule, you must check child attendance patterns at the end of each month.
Follow the instructions in this table (and the examples below) to apply the Frequent Absence Rule:
||At the end of each month check the attendance record of each child at your service.|
- a child has been absent on the same enrolled day or days of the week for more than half of these days in month or
- a child has attended fewer hours than they were enrolled to attend, for more than half of their enrolled days in the month or
- a child attends for fewer days per week than they are enrolled to attend, for more than half of the weeks in the month
- note down that the child's absences must be monitored in the following month and
- claim funding for the child's absences
||At the end of the next month check the absence pattern of the frequently absent child again (as part of checking the absence patterns for all children in your service). |
||If the child's absence pattern...
- is the same as in the previous month
- you must reconfirm the child's enrolment agreement with their parent/guardian and
- claim funding for the child's absences.
||Funding for absences in the third month must only be claimed if the child’s enrolment agreement has been reconfirmed (see next page).|
If the child’s enrolment agreement is not reconfirmed, funding for absences in the third month must not be claimed.
||Funding for absences in the fourth month must not be claimed and the enrolment agreement must be changed to match the child's attendance.|
Section 6-8 works through several examples of the Frequent Absence Rule.
Please refer to this section for an illustration of how to apply the Frequent Absence Rule.
Reconfirming an enrolment agreement
To reconfirm an enrolment agreement you must either:
- have the enrolment agreement signed and dated by the child’s parent/guardian, confirming that the enrolment agreement remains valid or
- change the child’s enrolment agreement to include new days and times that the child is expected to attend and have the changes signed and dated by the child’s parent/guardian.
Exemptions from the Frequent Absence Rule
Children with special needs or health problems may be absent more frequently. Services may apply for an exemption to the Frequent Absence Rule for these children.
See Section 7-7 for details on applying for an exemption.