Consequently, the demand for early childhood education centres is rising. As a response, the Australian Government recently announced that it will be launching a new Child Care Package on July 2nd 2018.
Child Care Rebate 2018: The Basics
The new package combines the current child care benefit and the child care rebate into one Child Care Subsidy, the percentage of which is calculated according to the family’s income, parents’ activity hours and the type of care they are using.
The subsidy will be paid directly to your child care service.
Who Is Eligible?
All families who earn under $350,000 are eligible to receive the subsidy, provided that the child is under the age of 13, meets set child immunisation requirements and that the family meets residency requirements.
However, the subsidy cap changes depending on the combined family income; families earning less than $185,710 will have no cap, while families earning between $185,710 – $350,000 will have a $10,000 subsidy cap; an increase on previous programs.
Based on need, some families can avail of an additional subsidy; these include families where grandparents are the primary caregivers, as well as families who are in financial difficulties.
How Is The Subsidy Calculated?
As well as the combined family income, the subsidy percentage is calculated based on the type of child care service (whether it is a centre, family day care or outside school hours care) as well as the activities which parents engage in. These include paid work, study and training, self-employment and volunteer work.
To make things easier, the Department of Education and Training has created a special calculator which allows you to calculate your individual subsidy rate; head here:
The government will soon release information about the steps that families need to take before the package comes into effect.
Parents in Australia are heavily dependent on government’s support by way of the current Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR). The Government’s ‘Jobs for Families Child Care Package’ aims to better the current subsidy that parents receive.
Commenting on the new Package, Sheela Edwards, CEO Aurora Early Education says “Whilst the new package is geared to encourage work force participation, as a Service Provider of early education, my views have always been to advocate for children’s participation in early education. There is uncontested evidence to show that investing in high quality Early Education reduces the impact of childhood disadvantage and provides an environment to raise the child to his or her full potential, along with a long list of other benefits . Additionally, the studies conducted by PWC shows an improved Australian GDP in the long run. We encourage all parents to take the steps to understand the new subsidy and are happy to assist in providing further guidance if necessary.”