The Turnbull Government is urging hundreds of thousands of families to make the switch to the new child care and early learning system or risk missing out on the new subsidies.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said new data revealed that with just weeks to go until the new subsidy system starts on 2 July, around 673,000 families have already made the switch.
“If you don’t make the switch by 2 July, you could miss out,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Many families will be hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year better off under our reforms but they need to make the switch to the new system.
“More support for more families is just weeks away but the switchover to the new system isn’t automatic.
“The Turnbull Government’s reforms are set to benefit almost one million families and it’s estimated around 230,000 families will increase their workforce participation.
“Our reforms include an extra $2.5 billion investment that will mean more subsidies for families working the most and for families earning the least, scrapping the annual rebate cap for most families as well as an hourly fee cap to keep downward pressure on fee increases.
“We’re urging families and child care and early learning providers yet to update their details to visit www.education.gov.au/childcare as soon as they can.”
Minister for Human Services Michael Keenan said the Government expects up to 489,000 families still need to update their details and switch over in time for the new system.
“We’re seeing strong and consistent numbers of families making the switch every day but as we hit the home stretch now’s really the time for the remaining families to act,” Minister Keenan said.
“Over the last few months we’ve been letting families know what they need to do to make the switch. While the deadline may have seemed far off in the distance for many people, now it’s just around the corner on 2 July.
“All families need to do to make the switch is head to our online transition portal at www.education.gov.au/childcare and update or give us new information about their work, study or volunteering activity and their income.
“We encourage everyone to make the switch now so there’s no disruption to their subsidy payments.”
Key elements of the Turnbull Government’s reforms
We’re increasing Australia’s investment in early childhood education and care by $2.5 billion over the next four years so that almost one million Australian families benefit - Low and middle income families will be the greatest beneficiaries from the package.
An activity test will ensure that taxpayer’s support for child care is targeted to those who depend on it in order to work, or work additional hours. It is estimated our reforms will encourage more than 230,000 families to increase their involvement in workforce participation. The activity test includes a minimum of four hours of working, looking for work, training/studying and volunteering
Fundamentally fair – this package provides the highest rate of subsidy to those on the lowest income levels and more hours of subsidy to those who work the most. We’re increasing the base subsidy from around 72 per cent to 85 per cent for the more than 370,000 families earning around $66,958 or less a year.
Low and middle income families, earning up to around $186,958, will no longer be limited by an annual cap on the amount of child care they can access – that’s more than 85 per cent of families using child care. Families earning more than around $186,958 will also benefit from an increased annual rebate cap of $10,190.
Our $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net recognises vulnerable children and families need extra support. The safety net includes special funding for regional and Indigenous-focused centres to break down barriers to early learning and child care and 12 hours or around two sessions a week of guaranteed access to care/learning for families earning less than around $66,958 even if they don’t meet the activity test.
Examples of how families are set to benefit:
A family on $50,000 - both parent/s working, with two children aged under 6 in long day care two days a week at $100 a day will be around $2,000 better off a year
A family on $80,000 - both parent/s working, with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week at $100 a day will be over $3,000 better off a year
A family on $150,000 – both parent/s working, with two children aged 6 and under in long day care three days a week at $100 a day will be more than $1000 better off a year