This measure will introduce the new Child Care Subsidy and the Child Care Safety Net.
Description of the measure
The Child Care Subsidy will be introduced to help families using approved child care and participating in work, study, training or other recognised activities.
The new Child Care Subsidy will replace:
The Child Care Safety Net will provide targeted support to genuinely disadvantaged or vulnerable families through specific measures that facilitate access to quality early learning for children who need it most.
The Child Care Safety Net has 3 key components:
- Additional Child Care Subsidy – From 2 July 2018 this subsidy will provide targeted additional assistance for families who are disadvantaged to minimise barriers to participation and provide access to early learning
- Community Child Care Fund – From 2 July 2018 this fund will provide a competitive grants programme for approved child care services to reduce barriers to access child care
- Inclusion Support Programme – From 1 July 2016 this programme will assist approved child care services develop their capacity and capability to provide inclusive access for children with additional needs
The Community Child Care Fund and the Inclusion Support Programme are administered by the Department of Social Services. Read more about the Community Child Care Fund and Inclusion Support Programme on the Department of Education and Training website.
Questions and answers
Who will be affected by this measure
Families who use approved child care and receive child care assistance from 2 July 2018 will be affected. This includes those who receive:
- Child Care Benefit, including Grandparent Child Care Benefit and Child Care Benefit for Registered Care, and
- Child Care Rebate
This measure will also affect some families using approved child care and experiencing temporary financial hardship or children identified as being ‘at risk’ of serious abuse or neglect.
Who is eligible for this measure
To be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy, families will need to:
- use an approved child care service for a child who is under 13 years of age and is immunised
- be responsible for paying the child care fees
- meet residency requirements
- meet a 3 step activity test (working, studying, training or other recognised activity), or be exempt
Level of Child Care Subsidy:
- the subsidy will be means tested based on family income to determine a subsidy of between 50% and 85% of the actual fee, up to an hourly cap depending on the type of child care used
- based on the amount of work, study, training or other recognised activity undertaken, the subsidy will be limited to 36, 72 or 100 hours of care per child per fortnight, based on the amount of work, study, training or other recognised activity undertaken
- Child Care Subsidy payments will be paid directly to approved child care service providers on behalf of families
- families will pay the gap between the level of subsidy they receive and the actual fee charged by the service
- for families earning $185,000 or higher at the time of implementation, an annual cap of $10,000 for assistance per child will apply each year
The Additional Child Care Subsidy is aimed at genuinely disadvantaged or vulnerable families. The Australian Government is seeking further consultation with stakeholders, including families and child care services, before finalising supporting guidelines.
The date this measure will start and finish
The Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy will start from 2 July 2018 and are ongoing.