West Australian families given more choice in child care than ever before
Up to 50,000 West Australian families who are using child care will be able to have the Child Care Rebate paid weekly from July 2011.
Minister for Employment Participation and Child Care, Kate Ellis says that new legislation will be brought before the Parliament this week to give parents greater choice about how they receive their child care payments.
“Prior to the 2010 election our Government committed to deliver families the option of having the Child Care Rebate paid fortnightly,” Ms Ellis said.
“I am pleased to announce that legislation will be introduced into the Parliament this week in which the Government will deliver on that commitment and more.”
“For the first time families will be able to choose to have the Child Care Rebate paid at the time their child care service submits their attendance data to the Government.
“For some families this will mean a fortnightly payment but for others it will actually be paid weekly.
Child care centres are required by the Australian Government to submit their attendance data fortnightly but many services submit data on a weekly basis.
This means that families whose services submit data weekly, will be able to receive their Rebate weekly and those services who submit data fortnightly, will be eligible for a fortnightly payment.
Families will also be able to choose to have their Child Care Rebate paid directly to their child care service and receive an immediate reduction on their bills or continue to receive the Rebate as a direct payment.
This will allow families to choose the payment arrangements that work best for them.
“West Australian families have never had access to more financial assistance with child care and they have never before had more choice,” Ms Ellis said.
“From July 2011 families will be able to choose to have their child care rebate payments made annually, quarterly, or depending on the way the service reports data to the Government – either fortnightly or weekly as well.”
The option of more regular Child Care Rebate payments will reduce the upfront costs of care and make it easier for parents to manage the family budget.
At the moment, a family earning $80,000 with one child in full time care would be paying $240 per week in out-of-pocket costs – until they receive the rebate at the end of every quarter.
By electing to be paid more regularly, the same family’s out-of-pocket costs would be reduced to $138 per week.
The Australian Government is investing a record $14.9 billion in direct assistance to help families with the cost of care over the next four years.
Families can contact the Family Assistance Office on 13 61 50 to check their eligibility for the Child Care Rebate or visit www.mychild.gov.aufor more information.