CHILD CARE SUBSIDY: Warwick parents could be worse off
WARWICK mums and dads can now find out whether or not they will be worse off when a new childcare subsidy comes into effect in July this year.
The Department of Education and Training has launched a new online estimator to calculate how much money you will receive to send your kids to childcare.
Little Tackers Early Childhood Centres nominated supervisor Debby Cain said many parents were unsure of how the changes would affect them.
"It does really depend on how much they earn and how much they are working," Ms Cain said.
The new scheme removes a $7500 subsidy cap for low-income earners, but tightens up working requirements for parents, who will both have to work or study at least eight hours per week to qualify for the rebate.
Analysis by Australian National University economics researcher Robert Breunig found that high-income parents would be affected the most, but 'a substantial fraction' of low-income earners could also be worse off under the new scheme because they fail to meet the work requirements.
Warwick mother-of-two Alex Lancaster said she relied on childcare subsidies to be able to work and support her family.
"I believe everyone should have some sort of support because it can get really expensive," she said.
"I know if I don't have a subsidy I can pay up to $200 per day for two children. I don't believe it makes a difference if you're high-income or low-income, I think everyone needs a bit of support."
Miss Lancaster said attending a childcare centre was important for children's social, mental and educational development.
"It gives them an opportunity to socialise with children their own age and gives them exposure to people from other cultures," she said.
The new scheme also promises to reduce the complexity of the system by combining two different rebates into one and paying the subsidy directly to the childcare centre.
"I hope it will help you manage your bill better and you're not having to go and look for the money so you can rest assured that most of your fees are already covered," Miss Lancaster said.
The new Child Care Subsidy will provide an 85 per cent rebate to families with a combined income up to $65,710.
Families earning above that number will have their subsidy decreased by 1 per cent per $3000 of combined family income.