Changes to child care support will 'benefit Parkes electorate families'

Simon Birmingham and Mark Coulton. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.
Simon Birmingham and Mark Coulton. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

An overhaul of child care packages will result in 4,159 families in the Parkes electorate being better off, Federal Parkes MP Mark Coulton said on Tuesday.

He said the Federal Government’s new package will provide the greatest hours of support to families which work the longest hours, and the greatest subsidy and financial support to families earning the least. 

“We know the cost pressures that families face so we’ve taken action to overhaul a broken system,” he said. “Families using child care in the electorate should be reassured that relief is around the corner.”

Federal Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said the changes focus on helping families that need it most.

“Almost one million families will benefit from our additional $2.5 billion investment and comprehensive changes to the subsidy system, our new hourly rate cap to put downward pressure on fee increases and the end of the $7,613 annual rebate cap,” he said. “I urge families to visit our child care estimator, plug in their details and see exactly how they’re set to benefit.”

The package includes:

  • Increasing Australia’s investment in early childhood education and care by $2.5 billion so almost one million Australian families benefit
  • Introducing a better targeted activity test to ensure taxpayer subsidised child care places are targeted to those who depend on it to work, or work more hours.
  • Delivering the highest rate of subsidy to those on the lowest income levels and more hours of subsidy to those who work the most. Increasing the base subsidy from around 72 per cent to 85 per cent for the over 370,000 families earning around $65,000 or less a year.
  • Low and middle income families earning up to around $185,000 will no longer be limited by an annual $7,613 cap on the amount of subsidised child care they can access – that’s more than 85 per cent of families using child care and means families won’t run out of subsidy mid-year as happens now. Families earning over about $185,000 will also benefit from an increased cap of $10,000
  • A $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net will support vulnerable children and families who need extra support. More information at: www.education.gov.au/childcare