New estimates show that up to 100,000 Australian families may be eligible for Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate payments but are not currently claiming their entitlements.
The Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis today called on families using child care to check their eligibility for this financial assistance.
The Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate payments are designed to help working families meet the costs of child care and support parents who are returning to the workforce.
“Our Government is delivering record levels of investment in child care affordability and we want to make sure that all eligible Australian families are taking that assistance up,” Ms Ellis said.
“I would urge families using child care to visit the mychild.gov.auwebsite and access the estimator tool, in order to find out what assistance they could be missing out on.”
The Australian Government is investing more in direct financial assistance to families using child care than ever before, providing a record $14.9 billion over the next four years.
In 2008 the Australian Government increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of parents’ out of pocket costs and increased the maximum amount per child from $4,354 to $7,500 a year.
As a result of these changes, child care costs to parents fell by over 20 per cent according to ABS figures.
From 1 July 2011, the Government will provide parents with the option to receive Child Care Rebate payments fortnightly, to help ease cost of living pressures being faced by many families.
This means that for the first time parents can access the Rebate at the time that they incur their child care fees, making it easier to manage their weekly child care costs and family budget.
Parents will retain the option to receive the Child Care Rebate payment annually or quarterly if they wish, so that they can chose what works best for their family.
Families are encouraged to check the mychild.gov.auwebsite for more information on assistance with the cost of child care and access the Estimator to determine the rate of child care-related entitlements.
Families can also contact the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50 to check their eligibility for these payments.