MCCORMACK URGES PARENTS TO SWITCH TO NEW CHILD CARE AND EARLY LEARNING SYSTEM

NATIONALS’ Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is urging families in the Riverina and Central West to make the switch now to the new child care and early learning system or risk missing out on the new subsidies.

Mr McCormack said it was important to switch to the fairer package, which will begin on 2 July.

“This package provides the highest rate of subsidy to those on the lowest income levels and more hours of subsidy to those who work the most,” Mr McCormack said.

“Families across the Riverina and Central West will be at least hundreds of dollars a year better off under the Liberal and Nationals’ reforms, but they need to make the switch to the new system.”

More support for more families is just weeks away but the switchover to the new system is not automatic.

The reforms include an extra $2.5 billion investment which will mean more subsidies for families working the most and for families earning the least, scrapping the annual rebate cap for most families as well as an hourly fee cap to keep downward pressure on fee increases.

“I urge and strongly encourage families and child care and early learning providers yet to update their details to visit www.education.gov.au/childcare as soon as they can,” Mr McCormack said.

“Families need to make the switch now so there’s no disruption to their subsidy payments.”

Key elements of the reforms

  • The Government is increasing Australia’s investment in early childhood education and care by $2.5 billion over the next four years so that almost one million Australian families benefit - Low and middle income families will be the greatest beneficiaries from the package.
  • An activity test will ensure that taxpayer’s support for child care is targeted to those who depend on it in order to work, or work additional hours. It is estimated the reforms will encourage more than 230,000 families to increase their involvement in workforce participation. The activity test includes a minimum of four hours of working, looking for work, training/studying and volunteering
  • Fundamentally fair – this package provides the highest rate of subsidy to those on the lowest income levels and more hours of subsidy to those who work the most. We’re increasing the base subsidy from around 72 per cent to 85 per cent for the more than 370,000 families earning around $66,958 or less a year.
  • Low and middle income families, earning up to around $186,958, will no longer be limited by an annual cap on the amount of child care they can access – that’s more than 85 per cent of families using child care. Families earning more than around $186,958 will also benefit from an increased annual rebate cap of $10,190. 
  • Our $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net recognises vulnerable children and families need extra support. The safety net includes special funding for regional and Indigenous-focused centres to break down barriers to early learning and child care and 12 hours or around two sessions a week of guaranteed access to care/learning for families earning less than around $66,958 even if they don’t meet the activity test.

Examples of how families are set to benefit:

  • A family on $50,000 - both parent/s working, with two children aged under 6 in long day care two days a week at $100 a day will be around $2,000 better off a year.
  • A family on $80,000 - both parent/s working, with two children aged under 6 in long day care three days a week at $100 a day will be over $3,000 better off a year.
  • A family on $150,000 – both parent/s working, with two children aged 6 and under in long day care three days a week at $100 a day will be more than $1000 better off a year.
Shane Manning