Category: News and Events

Information For Families on the New Child Care Subsidy

Information For Families on the New Child Care Subsidy

What is the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?

In July 2018 the Australian Government will introduce a new child care fee assistance package, which will include a new payment known as the Child Care Subsidy.

The new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) will replace the existing child care fee payments known as the Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Rebate (CCR).

How to apply for the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)

If you already have children attending an early learning service, or you are in the process of enrolling your child/children in an early learning service, you will need to apply for the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a Centrelink online account
    (if you don’t have one already – families already receiving the CCB and/or CCR should already have one)

You can do this by clicking on this link: www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/online-help/centrelink/register-centrelink-online-account

You will need your CRN, your child’s CRN and your last payment amount from Centrelink.

(If you don’t have a CRN you will need to telephone Centrelink on 136 150 or visit a Centrelink office.)

  1. Create a MyGov account online
    (if you don’t have one already – families already receiving the CCB and/or CCR should already have one)

You can do this by clicking this link:  www.my.gov.au/LoginServices/main/login?execution=e1s1

3A. FOR FAMILIES ENROLLING IN A KOOL KIDZ SERVICE FOR THE FIRST TIME – Apply for the Child Care Subsidy (via MyGov) 

When logged into your MyGov account, you see Centrelink listed under “Your services” – click on “Centrelink”.

You will then see a blue box at the bottom of the screen which says “Complete your Child Care Subsidy assessment” – click on this box.

You will then see a page which says:

“Your assessment for Child Care Subsidy has been started”.

To complete:

1/ Family income assessment

2/ Activity test

3/ Confirm enrolment

You can complete all three of these items in the one sitting, or you can complete them one at a time. We recommend you do them all at the same time if possible, to avoid the risk of forgetting to get back to this process at another time.

OR

3B. FOR FAMILIES ALREADY RECEIVING CCB AND/OR CCR – Provide further information (via MyGov) 

Log into your MyGov account and follow the prompts to provide your activity and income estimate for the 2018-19 financial year, provide your activity and income estimate for the 2018-19 financial year and confirm other details.

Again, you can complete all three of these items in the one sitting, or you can complete them one at a time. We recommend you do them all at the same time if possible, to avoid the risk of forgetting to get back to this process at another time.

 

FOR ALL FAMILIES ONCE LOGGED INTO MY.GOV: 

Family income assessment

You will be asked to provide your family income estimate for the 2018/2019 financial year.

If you over estimate (meaning you don’t end up earning as much as you have estimated to Centrelink) you will receive a payment at the end of financial year.

If you underestimate (meaning you end up earning more than you have estimated to Centrelink), the amount owed will be deducted from the withheld amount of CCS, or you may have to repay some of the subsidy you have received.

 

Activity test

The activity test asks you to provide details of your family’s activities such as paid work, study, work experience, running a business, looking for work or caring for a person with a disability, from 2nd July 2018.

The details you provide in the activity test will determine the number of hours of subsidised early learning services to which your family is entitled.  You need to understand what sort of activities are included in the activity test to ensure that you are correctly reporting all eligible family activities and claiming the full amount of subsidy.

General overview of subsidised care for number of hours of activity
Below is an indication of the hours of subsidised care families can receive based on their amount of activity:

⦁ Families in recognised activity 8 – 16 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised care

⦁ Families in recognised activity 16 – 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 72 hours per fortnight of subsidised care

⦁ Families in recognised activity more than 48 hours per fortnight are eligible to receive 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care.

In two parent families both parents, unless exempt, must meet the activity test. In the case where both parents meet different steps of the activity test, the parent with the lowest entitlement will determine the hours of subsidised care for the child.

Put simply the more activity your family undertakes, the more hours of subsidised care you can claim, so it’s important that you don’t underestimate their anticipated hours or activity.

If your family is doing multiple activities, these can also be combined to meet the Activity Test. For example, if a parent works and studies, both activities will be included.

The travel time between the early learning service and the family member’s place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity will also be included.

The hours of activity your family undertakes do not need to coincide with the hours that you use early learning services. For example, if your family works over the weekend, you can still use those hours to calculate how many hours of the Child Care Subsidy you are entitled to during the week.

 

Things you need to know before filling out the test

There is a broad range of recognised activities that you can include in the activity test:

  • Paid work
    This includes paid leave, paid or unpaid parental and maternity leave if this is a condition of employment, or being self-employed.
  • Study and training
    This includes being enrolled in an approved course of education or study, or being enrolled in training courses for the purpose of improving the individual’s work skills or employment prospects.
  • Unpaid work
    This includes unpaid work in the family business which is owned by a member of the individual’s immediate family, actively setting up a business, or unpaid work experience or internships.
  • Actively looking for work
    This includes looking for job vacancies, preparing résumés and job applications, contacting potential employers, or preparing for and attending job interviews.
  • Setting up a business
    This includes obtaining finance, advice and support, attending and organising meetings and networking, developing business and marketing plans.
  • Volunteering
    This includes voluntary work to improve work skills or employment prospects, voluntary work for a charitable, welfare or community organisation, voluntary work for a school, preschool or a centre-based day care service (if the work directly supports the learning and development of the children at the school, preschool or service e.g. reading to children).

Note: Being on the Parents and Citizens Committee, working in the school canteen, or coaching children’s soccer team are considered parental duties and would not be considered as a recognised volunteer activity.

If your family takes on a number of different types of activities, these can also be combined to meet the activity test. For example, if a parent works and studies, both activities should be included.

 

Things to include:

  • Travel time and break times
    You should include break times as well as the travel time between the child care service and the family member’s place of work, training, study, or other recognised activity in your activity hours total.For example, in response to the question “How many hours per fortnight do you work?” you should include:
    – the hours that you are paid  to work;
    – your lunch break hours; and
    – the time it takes to travel from your child’s day care to your place of work.For example if you worked 3 x 8hr days with an hour lunch break each day and your child’s early learning centre was 30 minute drive you would have 3 x 8hrs(paid employment) + 3 x 1hr (lunch break) + 2 x 30 min trips per day x 3 days to childcare = 30 hrs per week or 60hrs per fortnight.This also applies to study and volunteer work.
  • Maternity or parental leave
    If a family member is on paid or unpaid maternity or parental leave and this is a condition of their employment, this also classifies as recognised activity. The hours of activity will be the same as what they were immediately prior to commencing parental leave.This means that if a parent was working full time then he/she is still considered to be a full-time employee while on parental leave.
  • Irregular work hours (eg. Casual labour) or running a small business
    If you or your partner work irregular hours or run a small businesses, you can estimate this activity over a three month period. Be sure to count the highest number of hours that you could possibly work in that fortnight.The estimate should be for the highest number of hours anticipated, even if that number of hours isn’t required every day. This provides the flexibility to pick up additional hours of work and know that care will be available. If those irregular hours change, you can update them online as required via your myGov account.
  • Unpaid work
    Unpaid work in a family business can include cleaning on a weekend, completing administrative tasks etc.

What if your activities don’t meet the activity test?

Other activities that do not fall into the recognised activity categories will be assessed by the Government on a case-by-case basis. Families will need to contact Centrelink directly to find out if the activity is supported under the Child Care Subsidy.

If the family earns $66,958 or less a year, and does not meet the Activity Test, they will be still able to access up to 24 hours of subsided care per child per fortnight.

 

Kindergarten/Preschool programs are exempt from the Activity Test

Families are entitled to 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight if the child attends a kindergarten or preschool program at a centre-based day care in the year before they start school (that is two years before grade one of school).

Confirm enrolment

Upon completing all three items under the Child Care Subsidy assessment, you should be presented with an online Enrolment Summary.

This will display a summary of recent enrolments for your child at your chosen child care service. You will need to action the unconfirmed enrolment by hitting the review button.

The Child Care Subsidy can be backdated up to 28 days prior to the date the Child Care Subsidy claim was submitted or 2 July 2018, whichever is later.

 

  1. Begin at your chosen Kool Kidz service (if you haven’t already)

Upon enrolment you will be required to enter into a written agreement with the service.

The service will formally advise Centrelink of the details of that agreed care arrangement, which will trigger a request to you from Centrelink (through MyGov) asking you to verify the information provided by the service.

It is important to note that no subsidy will be paid unless you have completed this call to action and the service is likely to charge you the full fee, as they would be unaware of the level of subsidy you qualify for.  Every time you permanently change your care arrangements, this process will need to be repeated.

Your service is required to give you a “fortnightly statement of entitlement” which sets out your total fortnightly fee, your fortnightly Child Care Subsidy amount, and the resulting out of pocket fee which you will be required to pay.

 

Where can you get more information about the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS)?

Families can now calculate the level of fortnightly financial support they can expect to receive by clicking on this link to the Centrelink’s Payment and Service Finder www.centrelink.gov.au/custsite_pfe/pymtfinderest/paymentFinderEstimatorPage.jsf?wec-appid=pymtfinderest&wec-locale=en_US#stay

This online tool will ask families a set of questions about their circumstances, including the hourly rate of their particular Kool Kidz service, to provide an estimate of their fortnightly Child Care Subsidy.

Please note: In most cases, you will need to know your Kool Kidz service’s hourly rate before using this tool.

Please speak with your service directly to determine the hourly rate.

If you have any further questions about these upcoming changes, talk to our friendly office staff or contact the Centrelink Family and Parent line on 136 150 (Mon – Fri 8am – 8pm).

 

Sources:

Australian Childcare Alliance

Department of Education and Training



Kool Kidz Gardenvale Open Day Saturday April 14th!

Kool Kidz Gardenvale Open Day Saturday April 14th!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce the Open Day event for Kool Kidz Gardenvale has been set for Saturday, April 14th!

With a big day planned, full of family activities, special service tours and the opportunity to meet the management and education team at Kool Kidz Gardenvale.

With a high amount of demand we encourage all parents to secure a spot by registering their interest to enroll, simply visit www.koolkidzgardenvale.com.au and fill out a quick online form.

 

2018 03 01 10 08 24 Open Day Gardenvale A4 Poster.pdf And 5 More Pages ‎ Microsoft Edge



Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day Article in The Age!

Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day Article in The Age!

Read the latest article in “The Age” newspaper on Kool Kidz Tarneit’s relaunch on February 24th! Click here or below on the image to read the article.

Don’t miss the Kool Kidz Tarneit Relaunch Open Day, February 24th from 10am-4pm. Contact Owner/Approved Provider Sam Johnson for any question or to secure a spot by calling 0407168018.

2018 02 13 10 26 37 Tarneit Childcare Centre Rises From The Ashes



Kool Kidz Cranbourne West Open Day This Saturday!

Kool Kidz Cranbourne West Open Day This Saturday!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce our new service coming to Cranbourne West with an Open Day set for Saturday November 25th, located at 1-5 Whitfield Boulevard, Cranbourne West VIC 3977.

Families will get an opportunity to meet the Approved Provider Addy Singh with his team of educators, take a tour of the new facility as well as partake in the exciting activities offered on the day including a sausage sizzle, animal farm, children’s performers, free barista made coffee and so much more!

As spots are limited we encourage all families who are interested in sending their children to Kool Kidz Cranbourne West to please go to www.koolkidzcranbournewest.com.au and register your interest. Please give call us on 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554) for any questions.

Cranbourne West Open Day



Kool Kidz Gardenvale Coming Early 2018!

Kool Kidz Gardenvale Coming Early 2018!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce a new service for the Gardenvale area, Kool Kidz Gardenvale will be located at 239 Nepean Hwy, Gardenvale, conveniently located right near the corner of Nepean Hwy and North rd.

With a stellar reputation in the chidcare and kindergarten industry Kool Kidz Gardenvale will feature state of the art facilities, amazing play spaces, an experienced chef, a full time barista providing complementary drinks to parents and lots more!

As spaces will be limited all parents are encouraged to go to www.koolkidzgardenvale.com.au and register their interest, for more information call 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554).

 

Copyright@my Little Tribe Photography 2016



Kool Kidz Tarneit West Open Day August 26th!

Kool Kidz Tarneit West Open Day August 26th!

Kool Kidz is proud to announce our new service opening in Tarneit this coming August, Kool Kidz Tarneit West will utilise the same Kool Beginnings Curriculum used at Kool Kidz Tarneit which tragically burnt down over a month ago. We are excited to provide families in the area our new service “Kool Kidz Tarneit West” located at 345-351 Hogans rd, Tarneit which will have its open day on August the 26th.

Families will get an opportunity to meet the Approved Provider Tash along with her team of educators, take a tour of the new facility as well as partake in the exciting activities offered on the day including a sausage sizzle, animal farm, children’s performers and so much more!

As spots are limited we encourage all families who are interested in sending their children to Kool Kidz Tarneit West to please go to www.koolkidztarneitwest.com.au and register your interest. Please give call us on 1800 KOOL KIDZ (566 554) for any questions, we are very excited to be bringing another Kool Kidz to the Tarneit area.

Tarneit West Open Day Doublesided Dl Flyer



Budget 2017 – Licensor Comments

Budget 2017 - Licensor Comments

 

This years’ budget did not produce any real surprises for our sector, in fact the overall proposed changes are positive for families and providers.

The introduction of yet another way to administer childcare subsidies and labelling them something new once again is no real surprise.  The current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate will now be called the “Child Care Subsidy”, this new combined single payment will also be means tested.

On a positive note the government is pledging to spend an extra $2.5 Billion for our sector, keeping in mind this still has to be passed in the Senate.

The proposed breakdown of families receiving the Child Care Subsidy is based on their combined family earnings.  I support the basic rationale adopted by the government that families earning the lowest incomes will and should receive the highest amount of Subsidy, then as you earn more you receive less assistance with childcare fees.

It makes sense that families with lower incomes are not further disadvantaged, so providers located in areas with lower socio-economic demographics can still afford to charge reasonable rates provided they are offering high quality care and education services to families.

I still believe that the families earning incomes above $340K can still comfortably afford our services, however their expectations as parents will always be very high.

Please refer to the information below for a summary of the proposed subsidy paid based on family income.

It is a further win for families earning up to $185K as they will not have a cap imposed based on how much subsidy they receive.  Families earning more than $185K will now be capped at $10K instead of $7K – another win.

In my view this budget is once again very positive for the general childcare sector across the board. It is also my opinion that throughout the Kool Kidz network we should not experience any real negative financial consequences or declining occupancy levels as a direct result of this budget.

Our industry is currently viewed as the “boom business” and at least for the last five years this has been the case.  We have many new services being developed and licensed at the moment across Melbourne, resulting in more choice for families and an increase in competition for our group.  I expect that in the near future supply will meet and perhaps exceed demand in some areas, however I am a firm believer in our owner operator model providing superior quality care and education services hence will always be the first choice for families.

 

Budget 2017 – Summary for Families

$2.5 billion more in early learning and child care, including the new system of fee subsidies

How will the Government administer payments to families going forward ?

Currently the Government provides two payments to families to help with child care costs: the means-tested Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate, which is not means-tested.

The proposal is to create one means-tested payment instead, called the Child Care Subsidy.

How will this affect families?

Families on the lowest incomes will receive the highest amount of subsidy.

Families earning less than $65,000 will receive a subsidy covering up to 85 per cent of their costs.

For families earning between $65,000 and $170,000 the rate will gradually taper to 50 per cent of costs.

From $170,000 to below $250,000 the rate of subsidy will be 50 per cent of costs.

From $250,000 to below $340,000 the rate will gradually taper down to 20 per cent.

Families earning more than $340,000 will receive a subsidy covering 20 per cent of costs.

The Government also wants to lift the yearly cap on the amount of Child Care Subsidy that can be paid to families.

The cap will be lifted entirely for families earning up to $185,000. For families earning more, the cap will be lifted from the existing $7,500 a year to $10,000.

What will families have to do to qualify?

The bill includes an activity test that both parents have to meet before they can receive any subsidy from the Government.

Parents will have to be working, studying, training or volunteering for a minimum of eight hours a fortnight. The more parents work, the more subsidy they are eligible to receive.

Is there a safety net?

Yes. Families earning less than $65,000 a year who fail the activity test will still be eligible for 12 hours a week of subsidised child care.

But that is half the hours they are guaranteed under the current system.

What are the sector’s concerns?

The early childhood sector is worried about the impact of the activity test on disadvantaged families.

It wants the minimum guaranteed hours a week increased to 15 hours instead.

Why is child care linked to welfare cuts?

The Government argues that the increased spending on child care must be paid for by cutting some family tax benefit payments.

But critics argue the two are linked purely for political reasons and the package should be paid for by cuts in other areas instead.

 

Phillip Hortis

Kool Kidz Licensor 

 

Sources: ABC News, Herald Sun

 



Kool Kidz Ravenhall Open Day

Kool Kidz Ravenhall Open Day

Don’t miss the Kool Kidz Ravenhall Open Day, Saturday 15th of July from 10-4pm featuring free family activities such as a sausage sizzle, chef-prepared vegetarian dishes, face painting, animal farm, balloon twisting as well as an opportunity to tour the state of the art facility and meet the Kool Kidz educators as well as Abi and Shveta your Kool Kidz Ravenhall Approved Providers. Plus join the Mayor of Ravenhall Sophie Ramsey for an official ribbon cutting ceremony!

Kool Kidz Ravenhall is located at 3 Nexus st, Ravenhall, just off Robinson’s road, with limited spots available, register your interest now by going to www.koolkidzravenhall.com.au

Call us on 1800 Kool Kidz (566 554) for more information



How to Choose the Best Childcare for your Child


 

The rewarding experience of becoming a parent also comes with an extensive range of questions and decisions that you must carefully negotiate for the well-being of your child. One of the earliest and most challenging decisions that you may face is, which childcare service is best for my child?

Naturally, in their youngest years is when children do all of their fundamental learning, not necessarily learning how to do maths and read novels, rather engaging with other children, forming relationships and absorbing an understanding of the stimuli / reaction nature of the world we live in. It is important that you as the parent(s) make the right choice as to where to send your child and your family, choosing a childcare service that is right for your child will ensure that they learn to treat others with respect and form healthy relationships, they will have a well balanced and accommodating diet, they will be involved in a consistent and age appropriate curriculum, but above all, your child will be safe at all times and the staff will have regular contact with the parents to make decisions that are best for the development of the child. This article is designed to offer you information about choosing a service which is right for your child and your family.

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