New Child Care Package Lays Firm Foundation for the Future
When the Government’s new Child Care Subsidy (CCS) comes into effect on 2 July 2018, it will help lay strong foundations for the country’s future.
The early years of life are the most important for learning and with the reforms setting the stage for a more affordable, accessible and flexible child care system, the long-term impact on Australia’s economy and the overall health of its citizens could be significant.
The CCS is part of the Australian Government’s $2.5 billion investment to provide greater support for families who use approved child care.
It’s a single means-tested subsidy which will be paid directly to childcare providers who will then pass on the benefit to families by way of reduced fees. Other key benefits of the new system are that it’s simpler than its predecessors, it will be better targeted and will provide greater assistance to low and middle-income families through the Child Care Safety Net.
Although there will be some changes to the payment methods and families will need to make a co-contribution to their fees, most families will welcome the new order because it means lower out-of-pocket expenses.
Families are encouraged to visit the Department of Education’s website and fill out the Child Care Subsidy Estimator, an easy-to-use online tool that helps families assess what their new subsidy entitlement is likely to be. It takes into consideration what the family’s circumstances are (such as combined family income, the fees at the child care centre, the activity level of both parents and the number of children in child care) and only takes a couple of minutes to complete. The information you submit is completely anonymous and won’t be revealed to anyone.
Bear in mind that the Estimator is just that – it’s only a guide and families should make sure that the Department of Human Services has their current details and that they respond to any official correspondence sent to them. Families will be informed of their actual entitlements closer to the implementation date.
There are also plenty of additional resources to help families understand and navigate the new system. Have a look at www.education.gov.au/childcare or the department’s Facebook page for factsheets, Q&A pages and general information.
Parents can also approach their approved child care centre about the subsidy changes, and of course, about the importance of early childhood education. Research suggests there is a strong correlation between quality early childhood education and successful outcomes later in life including health (both physical and psychological), education and employment.
Early Learning & Kinder centres across Australia offer government-approved, high-quality day care, school-readiness and full-day kindergarten programmes for children aged six weeks to six years and welcome any enquiries about subsidies and enrolment. Their reputation for educational excellence is built on strong foundations of family and community engagement, with a clear focus on challenging and extending children’s development so that they reach their full potential.
For more information about the new Child Care Package or to find out about enrolments at Early Learning & Kinder centres, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.earlylearningandkinder.com.au.