Amendments made to the Jobs for Families Child Care Package
The Job’s for family’s package was first announced in last year’s budget.
It has since been amended in May 2016 and now promises $40 billion will be spent on child care support over the next 4 years. It is now awaiting for the passing of an enabling bill to allow for the changes to take effect.
The key aims are:
- A simpler childcare system
- A fairer childcare system
- Childcare more accessible to families
- More affordable childcare and
- Childcare care targeted to those who need it most.
Child Care Subsidy
$23 billion dollars has been allocated for the new Child Care Subsidy system commencing in July 2018. This will replace the CCB and CCR systems with a single means tested subsidy.
Family eligibility for the Child Care Subsidy will be determined by a three-step activity test, more closely aligning the hours of subsidised care with the combined hours of work, training, study or other recognised activity undertaken, and providing for up to 100 hours of subsidy per fortnight.
|Step||Hours of activity (per fortnight)||Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)|
|1||8 hours to 16 hours||36 hours|
|2||More than 16 hours to 48 hours||72 hours|
|3||More than 48 hours||100 hours|
A broad range of activities will meet the activity test requirements, including paid work, being self employed, doing unpaid work in a family business, looking for work, volunteering or studying. There will be exemptions to the activity test for parents who legitimately cannot meet the activity requirements.
Some families who don’t meet the activity test will be assisted through the new Child Care Safety Net including families on incomes of $65,710^ or less a year who will be able to access 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight without having to meet the activity test.
Child Care Subsidy rates will apply as follows:
|Combined Family Income||Subsidy per cent of the actual fee charged (up to relevant percentage of the hourly fee cap)|
|Up to $65,710^||85 per cent|
|More than $65,710^ to below $170,710^||Tapering to 50 per cent*|
|$170,710^ to below $250,000^||50 per cent|
|$250,000^ to below $340,000^||Tapering to 20 per cent*|
|$340,000^ or more||20 per cent|
When the subsidy commences the hourly fee caps will be as follows:
|Service type||Maximum hourly fee cap|
|Centre Based Long Day Care||$11.55^|
|Family Day Care||$10.70^|
|Outside School Hours Care||$10.10^|
There will be no annual cap for families earning less than around $185,710. Families earning more than $185,710 will have a $10,000 annual cap on the total amount of assistance provided per child.
Child Care Safety Net
An additional $1 billion dollars has been allocated to progressively roll out funding for the most vulnerable children while supporting parents into work.
The three Child Care Safety Net components are:
- Additional Child Care Subsidy
- Community Child Care Fund
- Inclusion Support Programme
More information on each new initiative can be found at www.education.gov.au