Good news!!! We are working hard to offer families a step up.
The vast majority of our families will be eligible to benefit from the federal government’s childcare subsidy, starting in July 2018. As they say in German, “Juhuuu!” 🙂 This is excellent news for us all.
As crazy as it sounds, this means that our fees also have to go up from about $10/hour to $11.77/hour to accommodate the extra administration … BUT, families will actually end up paying less, as it looks like (nearly) all of you will qualify for 50-85% subsidies from the government. So, although the fees will rise to just under $1600 per term, for a family recieving a 50% subsidy, the fees will in practice be about $800 per term. If you recieve the full 85% subsidy, you will in practice pay only about $240 per term!
How does it work? Families sign up for the subsidy, and then the government works out how much of a subsidy you will receive. The subsidy is paid directly to the childcare provider (the GAP in this case), and you only pay the GAP the difference.
Why are the fees going up? In order to be able to offer the subsidy (and to save you all money), we are moving heaven and earth to qualify, and GAP will incur additional costs. Because this will enable familes to access the subsidy, families will end up paying about two-thirds of what they pay now, though, so it’s all good. In cases where families qualifiy for a subsidy greater than 50% (indeed, up to 85% is possible), families will pay even less. All our families should be eligible to pay a LOT less than they did prior to July 2018.
Along with subsidised fees, there two other nice benefits to this for you too. From July 2018, we will offer an 8:45am drop off and operate 48 weeks per year. (Yes, I can hear your cheering from here!!!) Our official program will still start at 9:30am, but you can drop your child off any time from 8:45am.
So how much of a subsidy will you get?
Once you have passed the immunisation and residency requirements, there are three factors that will determine your level of child care subsidy.
ONE: Your combined family income. See table at the link to see what percentage you may be entitled to. Most of our families will get between a 50% and 85% subsidy.
TWO: There is an activity test. Those figures are per fortnight. Those wishing to volunteer some hours at Pfadfinder can count those hours in their activity hours.
THREE: The type of childcare you use. For the purposes of the subsidy, GAP will be classed as an approved centre-based day care, giving you the maximum fee cap. We won’t be listed on the approved provider list officially until after July (as we are waiting to see which of the two options available to us will be applied), but rest assured we will be approved.
Does this include the afternoon movement class?
The fees for TaTeTu will remain as they are now, at $22.50 per session, which works out to $15/hour. The first $11.77/hour of those fees will also be eligible for the subsidy. A TaTeTu session for a family with a 50% subsidy will in practice pay only $13.20 per session.
What if…. Wait! What? Our family might not be eligible afterall!
If you need to do some volunteer hours in order to be eligible, talk to us about volunteering at Pfadfinder, as this may be considered as “activity hours”. Unfortunately, the volunteering you do at the GAP itself (or being on the committee) is considered by the government to be “parental duty” and not “activity hours”, unless you are directly teaching the children (which is not how we are structured at GAP). Your older child’s primary school may offer those kinds of opportunities however.
What should families do now?
If you have not already registered to get the subsidy, you should take action now to create a myGov account (via my.gov.au) , and then, under Services, link myGov to Centrelink. Select Centrelink and fill in the Child Care Subsidy Assessment form. Information will follow as to what to do next.