Families reminded to act now before new childcare fee assistance comes into force

Overhaul: A new childcare fee assistance model comes into effect on July 2. Picture: Louie Douvis
Overhaul: A new childcare fee assistance model comes into effect on July 2. Picture: Louie Douvis

Families who have children in care are being reminded to update their details before the government rolls out its new childcare support model.

From July 2, the childcare fee assistance changes.

A new Child Care Subsidy will replace the two current childcare payments. 

The Package includes a new Child Care Subsidy, which replaces the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.

The Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to services.

There are also changes to the annual cap which will make child care more affordable for most families.

Families will be asked to provide new information on combined household income, parents’ activity level and type of childcare service. 

This transition will not happen automatically. 

Families will need to complete an online assessment using their Centrelink online account through myGov.

During April, Centrelink will be writing to all families currently receiving financial support, with instructions on completing their form.

If families do not complete their assessment before the deadline, they may not receive any childcare fee payments.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the restructure aims to help more families.

“The Turnbull government’s overhaul of child care and early learning subsidies and extra $2.5 billion investment in the system will target support towards families earning the least and families working the most, introduce hourly rate caps to put downward pressure on fee increases and abolish the annual rebate cap for most families,” he said.

“Overall it will mean around one million families benefit and it’s estimated the package will encourage more than 230,000 families to increase their workforce participation.”

The biggest winners will be families working, studying or volunteering that earn less than $250,000 a year.

More than 370,000 families earning around $66, 958 or less a year will have their base subsidy increase from 72 per cent to 85 per cent

Families earning up to $186 958, will no longer be limited by an annual $7613 cap on the amount of child care they can access.

Families earning between $186,958 and $351,248 will benefit from an increased annual rebate cap of $10,190 per child.

Hourly rate caps will rise from $11.55 to $11.77 for Centre Based Day Care, $10.70 to $10.90 for Family Day Care, while families with children in Outside School Hours Care will also see their hourly rate cap rise from $10.10 to $10.29.

The Department of Education and Training is hosting three Family Webcast Information Sessions to help families understand what they need to do to.

Families will be able to ask questions or submit comments through a live chat, during the question and answer session.

The sessions will be held at the following times:

Thursday, April 19, 7pm - 8.30pm

Thursday, May 3, 2.30pm - 4pm

Tuesday, May 15, 8pm - 9.30pm.