Starting Blocks aims to help new parents with their first steps into parenting, especially when it comes to child care options. A topic of particular interest at the moment is the changes to the subsidies that the Australian Government provides to families of children in child care.
The system changed on 2 July 2018 and it’s important to be aware of the changes, how they might impact your weekly budget, and what you need to do to ensure that you continue to receive the benefits.
From 2 July 2018, the two payments - Child Care Rebate and Child Care Benefit - have been replaced with a single, means-tested subsidy. It will be paid directly to your child’s care centre.
You are eligible if you earn less than $351,248 in combined family income and are undertaking one or more of the following activities for at least 8 hours a fortnight: paid work (includes if you are currently on leave); self-employment; unpaid work in a family business; looking for work; volunteering; training; or studying. (There are exemptions for parents who cannot meet these activity requirements.)
(The following tables are based on those from the Department of Human Services (note that the amounts are correct for 2018/19 only)
Your combined family income and the subsidy you receive:
The maximum subsidy you receive per hour depends on the type of care your child attends:
The number of hours you can claim the subsidy for depends on the number of hours you undertake one of the activities outlined above. If you have a partner, the number of hours is calculated according to the parent with the lowest hours of activity each fortnight.
The Department of Education has detailed information on the Child Care subsidy. Visit education.gov.au/childcare.