With free child care ending from July 13, 2020, you might be feeling confused by the Government Child Care Subsidy. And if you do, you’re not alone.
While the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) makes early learning more affordable for many Australians, it’s not always easy to understand.
Keep reading for our top tips on how to break down the benefits for you and your family as you navigate the world of child care.
The best way to apply for CCS is through your MyGov Account that is linked to Centrelink. The CCS works on three factors:
– Your total combined family income.
– The service type. This can be long day care, or outside-hours care such as vacation care.
– How much ‘work-related’ activity you and your partner undertake each fortnight. This includes paid work, volunteering, study and other activities as determined by education.gov.au.
According to the latest announcement, the Government will be easing the activity test from 13 July to 4 October 2020 to support eligible families whose employment has been impacted as a result of COVID-19. These families will receive up to 100 hours per fortnight of subsidised care during this period. This will assist families to return to the level of work, study or training they were undertaking before COVID-19.
Job hunting, studying, starting a new business and volunteering – among others – are all eligible activities that will allow you to claim subsidised hours of care, even if your personal circumstances have changed. Please look at your Activity Statement in your Centrelink account and update these details to ensure you are maximising your subsidy.
If you’re struggling to work out your out-of-pocket fee, the handy formula below may help!
Concerned about being able to afford child care?
You’re also not alone. Here are some options that may help.
- ACCS provides support to families experiencing a significantly reduced ability to pay child care fees, such as if a parent has lost income due to being unable to attend work. This can be applied for via Centrelink and MyGov. Click HERE to download an easy application guide.
- Flexible Hours is part of our own commitment to providing greater access to quality early childhood education and care. You can choose from our nine-hour, ten-hour or full day sessions and make the most out of the Child Care Subsidy. These options are designed to support families by increasing access to subsidised care, thus reducing out of pocket expenses – click here to read all about flexible hours.
- The Preschool Exemption Program may allow you to access 36 hours of subsidised care per fortnight for preschool-aged children. Click here for more information via the Federal Government FAQ page.
Other top tips
- Use our handy Subsidy Calculator to get an estimate of how much you could expect to receive.
- Apply for CCS as soon as you find a centre that you and your child are happy with. This way, it’ll be set up and ready to go for your child’s first day of care. You also need to confirm your Complying Written Agreement (CWA). If it’s not confirmed, you may be paying full fees until it’s all complete.
- Make sure you download the Centrelink app, which can be very helpful, especially if your work situation is changing and you need to update your hours.
- Contact our Family Support team on 1800 517 141 to double check all details when you’ve submitted your enrolment form. They’ll be able to pick up on anything that’s been missed, ensuring your subsidy is ready to go.
Case study example: The John family…
Still working out your subsidy benefits? Our Family Support Team is ready to help – contact them on 1800 517 141.