May 13, 2015
The Federal Government has recognised the importance of childcare to the Australian economy and families in its proposed budget changes. The main aims of the childcare package are to increase accessibility to childcare, increase Australia’s workforce participation and simplify the childcare rebate system.
The package in brief:
- Increased funding to the amount of $3.5 billion over the next 4 years, with the majority of the increase to be available from July 2017.
- For family incomes of up to approximately $65,000 the Child Care Subsidy will be 85% per child of the actual fee or a benchmark price, whichever is lower. This will reduce to 50% for family incomes of approximately $170,000 and above at the time of implementation.
- Families using child care in 2017, on family incomes of between $65,000 and $170,000 will be around $30 a week better off. Those on higher incomes will, on average, continue to receive the same level of support.
- A cap of $10,000 per child at the time of introduction will be established for the total value of subsidies for family incomes of $185,000 and above.
All child care subsidies and support will remain linked to immunisation requirements which from 1 January will be strengthened under the Government’s “no jab, no pay” policy. The only exemption to this policy will be on medical grounds. The new measures are a positive for the childcare industry and are likely to result in increased demand for childcare services.