The New Child Care Package
On 2 July 2018 the new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) comes into effect which will replace the current Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR). These changes will have a big impact for many families. Here is an overview of the changes:
The CCS is a new system by the Australian Government which will assist parents with respect to child care fees and is meant to be simpler than the current system and should provide more benefits to low and middle-income families. The CCS will be paid directly to the child care provider and a subsequent fee reduction provided to parents.
Criteria to receive CCS
In order to receive the CCS the following criteria must be met:
- The child must be aged 13 years of age or under;
- The child must not be attending secondary school;
- The child must be up to date with the immunisation requirements; and
- The person claiming the CCS must meet the residency requirements.
Amount of subsidy provided
The amount or level of CCS that a parent or family receives is dependent on the following:
- The family’s combined income – this is based on a sliding scale up to 85% and the subsidy is capped at $10,000 per annum per child for families earning between $185,710 and $350,000 and for families earning less than $185,710 there is no cap. Families receiving $65,710 or less will be entitled to an 85% subsidy, families earning more than $65,710 but less than $170,710 will be entitled to a subsidy reducing from 85% to 50%, families receiving $170,710 but less than $250,000 will receive a 50% subsidy, families receiving $250,000 but less than $340,00 will receive a subsidy reducing from 50% to 20%, families receiving $340,000 but less than $350,000 will receive a 20% subsidy and families receiving $350,000 or more will receive no subsidy.
- Meeting the activity test – the amount of hours per child per fortnight that can be subsidised is based on a sliding scale from 36 hours per fortnight per child (based on 8 to 16 hours of activity per fortnight) to 100 hours per fortnight per child (based on more than 48 hours of activity per fortnight). Such activity can include paid work, being self-employed, volunteering, paid parental leave, studying and actively looking for work. Both parents must meet the activity test. Families earning $65,710 or less per annum who do not meet the activity test will still be able to access 24 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight.
- The type of child care service – the Government has capped the maximum hourly rate that it will subsidise dependent on the type of service. Centre-based day care is capped at $11.55 per hour, Family day care is capped at $10.70 per hour and outside school hours care is capped at $10.10 per hour.
For more information you can visit the Department of Education and Training website www.education.gov.au/families