Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, will hold an Open Office day on Thursday 11 June for members of the community looking to understand more about the Coalition Government’s Jobs for Families package.
Mums, dads and other guardians living in all suburbs of the Pearce electorate are invited to attend the Open Day and ask any questions about how the new package may benefit their family.
“The $4.4billion package delivered in the 2015 Budget is about giving parents more choice and opportunity to work,” Mr Porter said.
“All mums work hard, and many are also in paid employment. We want to make child care simpler, more affordable, more flexible, and more accessible.
“Having two parents in paid employment has become a necessity for most families because of changes that have taken place in our society and economy over many years and this new package will provide a new and simpler Child Care Subsidy from 1 July 2017.”
Mr Porter said families using child care in 2017, on family incomes of between $65,000 and $170,000 would be around $30 a week better off. Those on higher incomes would, on average, continue to receive the same level of support.
Families on incomes of less than $65,000 per year will receive ongoing access to early childhood learning, and can be eligible for additional financial support through the Child Care Safety Net.
The simplified Child Care Subsidy will replace the current Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate and Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance programmes.
The simplified Child Care Subsidy will include:
introduction of a single means tested Child Care Subsidy for all families, subject to a new activity test for up to 100 hours of subsidised care per child per fortnight, paid directly to approved care service providers to make it easier for families.
for family incomes of up to approximately $65,000 the Child Care Subsidy will be 85% per child of the actual fee or a benchmark price, whichever is lower. This will reduce to 50% for family incomes of approximately $170,000 and above.
Families on incomes under $185,000 will no longer have a cap on the amount of subsidy they receive.
A cap of $10,000 per child will be established for the total value of subsidies for family incomes of $185,000 and above.
The benchmark price has been based on the projected mean price at the time of implementation plus 17.5% for Long Day and Out of School Hours Care and 5.75% for Family Day Care, recognising their lower cost of overheads.
A new activity test.
Up to 24 hours per fortnight will also be provided to children from families with incomes less than approximately $65,000 per year who do not meet the activity test to ensure continued access to early childhood learning. The 24 hours is equivalent to two six hour sessions, which is the same period provided for K-2 public school education. Service providers will have full flexibility and discretion in how these hours of support are delivered.
Mr Porter said the Jobs for Families package will deliver significant reform, putting downward pressure on child care costs.
“This package reforms the inflationary system in place under Labor which saw child care fees increase by more than 50 per cent between 2007 and 2013,” he said.
“It is in addition to the Coalition’s Home Care (Nannies) Pilot programme to help shift workers, such as nurses, police and those in rural and regional areas who find it difficult to access child care mainstream services.
“We want families to be able to choose to work, and we don’t want that choice denied because of complex, inflexible and unaffordable child care arrangements.”
Mr Porter said the 2015 Budget also delivered $840 million over two years for preschool programmes, which will ensure families in Pearce can continue to access up 15 hours a week of preschool education a year in 2016 and 2017.
“I understand that navigating the child care assistance system has, in the past, been a complicated minefield for many families,” Mr Porter said.
“That’s why I will be available, along with my staff, to anyone with any questions about how the new system will work. Families in Pearce are invited to come and have a coffee and a chat and I will help them understand how the changes will affect them.”
The Open Office will take place at:
The Office of Christian Porter
3 / 28 Main Street, Ellenbrook
Times: 10am – 3pm
Ph: (08) 6296 7255