opinion

Parents can expect $1500 a year as part of childcare reforms to be announced today.

The Federal Government says, “Happy Mother’s Day.”

The cap on the Childcare Rebate of $7,500 will be scrapped in the reforms set to be announced by the Federal Government today.

We imagine this news will be met with relief by many parents, especially for those who hit the cap on the Childcare Rebate some months ago and are currently paying more than their fortnightly salary in childcare fees.

The Herald Sun‘s Political Editor Samantha Maiden reports that the “$3.5 billion package ‘jobs for families’ package, [will] deliver a new, streamlined, single childcare payment paid directly to childcare centres to reduce parents’ upfront costs.”

The reforms will be phased in over a two year period, with the reforms expected to be completed by July 2017.

The reforms will streamline childcare payments into one payment made directly to childcare centres.

The changes reportedly include an extra $30 a week for families earning under $165,000 a year, the scrapping of subsidies for stay-at-home parents in families earning over $65,000 a year and stronger work tests to be eligible for assistance.

Currently the Childcare Rebate is set at 50% of parents upfront fees up to $7,500. For families earning under $185,000 they can expect that cap to be scrapped completely. For families earning over $185,000 the cap remains but will be lifted to $10,000.

The subsidies will be paid against a benchmark childcare fee of $110 a day. The benchmark fee is set to rise to $127 by July 2017.

Samantha Maiden writes, "the government estimates its childcare package could encourage up to 210,000 families to increase their work hours or get a job."

The Parenthood, an advocacy group campaigning for parents and families, welcomed the package. However, the Executive Director of The Parenthood Jo Briskey said she is very concerned about the funding being tied to cuts to family payments and changes in eligibility requirements for subsidies leaving many families with no support at all for childcare.

"We applaud Minister Morrison for his focus on increased productivity especially helping more women back to work – but we’re also urging him not to forget the child in childcare and how beneficial access to early learning is for our kids," Briskey said.

Will these changes help your family?

Want more? Try:

"Help me, I can't get childcare, but I don't want to do what everyone is recommending."

Is this new trend hitting childcare centres a good or bad thing?

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