Child Care Changes Leaving Many Vulnerable Exposed

While changes to the child care rebate scheme may have been done with best intentions, many families are still feeling the sting of no longer being eligible for help where they most need it, looking after their sick little ones.

Since the change in policy dozens of families have subsequently lost their access to in-home help or now find themselves in the position where they have to pay a significant gap fee for the first time.

As the effects of the new rebate scheme continue to be felt it is imperative that all parties, from families to government personnel, to be involved in open communication.

We as a society, as a nation and our governing bodies, must be alert to the most vulnerable, so as to secure help and support for those that need it most.

 

Changes

 

Alterations to how the child care policy works has meant that there has been a reduction in the in-home subsidy allotment.

This measure has seen many providers no longer provide the service due to what they describe as their hand being forced and parents being unable to meet payments.

 

The Most Vulnerable

 

Of the families that have been utilising in-home care, most have had children with disabilities whose cases demand additional care than what is provided under the national disability insurance scheme (NDIS).

Incredibly challenging situations faced by families have been parents suffering severe physical or mental health issues and children referred to providers by child protection services and similar agencies.

These circumstances have not been simple, easy managed or falling within attempts to rort the system.

Many of these cases have seen mums, dads and children struggling to cope with severe challenge of disease, illness, whether physical or mental.

 

Consequences

 

The new system has arguably ushered some of Australia’s most vulnerable families into significantly tricky areas.

As many have lost their in-home care or face sizable gap fees, the support they had been eligible for, which fully covered their needs has left many children in unsafe situations and families exposed.

 

Ministers Speaking Up

 

There are Ministers that are weighing into the issue of in-home care subsidies.

The Greens education spokeswoman, Mehreen Faruqi encourages the government to, “step in and fix this problem before these vulnerable families are pushed to the brink”.

“These stories are heartbreaking,” she said. “Families and children in need are suffering because the government didn’t think through their decisions.”

For mums struggling with severe postpartum depression, children with complex medical needs, for families without support and community in a new country, for single parents, these are are our society’s acutely vulnerable.

We all know that the formative years of a child’s life is vital in setting them up for a healthy and happy life.

Psychologists, medical experts and us as parents know this, that’s why it is vital that we keep up the dialogue of the rights of the child and advocating for resources and help for those that need it most.

Thousands Of Childcare Staff Set To Walk Off The Job, Another Display Of A Fractured System

Thousands of childcare workers are set to walk out of their centres at lunchtime today, protesting over what they say are despicably low wages.

Hundreds of centres are set to close around lunchtime today as the industry’s biggest national strike action is set to take place. Around 7,000 workers are set to leave their centres and embark on a protest march for better pay and improved working conditions.

United Voice, the childcare industry’s union said in a statement that the actions of childcare workers today are political, the rallies are to send a message straight to government. The political rallies across the country today are seeking to send a strong message to policy makers, they need to address the industry’s current wage crisis. For too long they say it has been ignored, they will keep marching until their concerns are acknowledged and addressed.

Helen Gibbons, United Voice’s assistant national secretary, weighed in on the rallies and walk out slated for today, saying, ““Australia’s educators must have qualifications, yet they earn as little as $22 an hour and are some of the lowest paid professionals in the country. Time is up on these appalling wages,”

“Between now and election day there will be 100,000 educators talking to millions of Australian parents about how this government has failed educators on equal pay.”

Serious words from an industry that has been reeling from long waiting lists, rising childcare costs and a new subsidy program.

Arguably changes need to be made in the childcare and long day care sectors. Additional options for child-care may be an avenue that the government needs to pursue as it navigates the next stages in this call for change.

The strike action is predicted to affect around 40,000 parents that have been advised to either pick their children up from the centre early or make alternative arrangements.

The actions and protest that are coming today mark the fourth wave of protests that have been enacted in just over 18 months, a clear sign of an industry that needs significant examination, care and policy adjustment.

Child Care Subsidy Changes And Grandparents Carrying The Load

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1530861590805{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]With changes to the child subsidy policy coming into effect July 1 many parents are wondering what this will mean for them. The effects of the new subsidy, either alleviating the pressure of child care prices or not will not simply be felt by parents. Grandparents are increasingly being seen to be carrying greater loads of care for their grandchildren. Many grandparents are now being found to be looking after their grandkids between 2 – 4 times a week. Retired grandparents are now speaking out about their role in helping to plug the gap between affordability and need for their children and grandchildren.

A grandparent in Melbourne speaks of looking after her grandchildren at least two days a week. While she doesn’t see it as a burden, the fact that many grandparents are now being called upon to pick up child care activities highlights the need for serious discussion and review into how child care and child care policies are conducted in Australia. While many grandparents are happy to care for their grandchild it does raise the concern for families that don’t have grandparents as a resource. What will the effects of the child care subsidy be on them and their ability to meet child care costs?

The two current payments, the Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate will soon be scrapped and the Child Care Subsidy is to take its place. For the first time in Australia’s history the subsidy will be means tested. Yet with all the change that is set to take place, the effects for families will not automatically be felt.

Each family will need to contact Centrelink regarding their particular situation. For Centrelink to calculate the subsidy given to each family, the family’s combined income, the hours of work/study for both parents and the type of child care used will need to be assessed. As the changes to payments are not yet in effect, many families are unable to discern if they will be better or worse off. It for the latter that many grandparents will become a lifeline and resource. Yet Anne McLeish of Grandparents Australia publicly stated that grandparents play an enormous role when it comes to what goes on in individual families and that the governments need to acknowledge their work and role. From subsidies to tax breaks or others incentives, McLeish believes the government has an opportunity to systemically acknowledge the efforts and labour of grandparents. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

To Get The New Child Care Subsidy, Get Clicking

To Get The New Child Care Subsidy, Get Clicking

[vc_row type=”full_width_background” full_screen_row_position=”middle” bg_color=”#ffffff” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” bottom_padding=”10%” overlay_strength=”1″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_row_inner column_margin=”default” text_align=”left”][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner enable_animation=”true” animation=”fade-in-from-bottom” column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”top-bottom” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”10/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” delay=”100″][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1529906053866{padding-top: 4% !important;padding-right: 4% !important;padding-bottom: 4% !important;padding-left: 4% !important;}”]For those of us that have been at this game a while, it may seem all too much. Sorry what do I have to click now? I thought we had done that darling? What do you mean we don’t have a member number for that? Wait, this isn’t that same branch of the child care governing body? What is going on? Who am I? Children? What are they!?

It can get particularly frustrating when the way to get the child care subsidy alters yet again. But have no fear. Here are the steps to make sure you qualify, all the data is where it should be and you can sleep at night knowing you won’t have to sell your left leg.

Qualifying

To qualify for the new childcare subsidy you must first make sure you have created a my.gov.au account.

Then you must link your MyGov account to Centrelink.

Then you need to complete a childcare subsidy assessment.

Next

You’ll need your family’s income estimate for the 2018- 2019 financial year. This can take some time to assemble so make sure all income earners in your family know exactly what to bring and be sure give enough time to have to search for the information. Additionally, you’ll need all the hours you work. In order to qualify for the subsidy there is a minimum of four hours per parent, a week ,to qualify. Hours taken to study or volunteer ARE included in the hours tally. Lastly, you’ll need your childcare enrolment details.

Once you’ve waltzed your way through that merry dance, the family assistance office will dispatch via carrier pigeon (jokes but really this would be faster than the snail mail they will use) the document detailing what amount of subsidy you’ll get.

There is an opportunity to estimate how much you’ll get via the calculator at centrelink.gov.au but it has been broken in the past. May luck and technology be on your side when you try.

So What’s Up With This New Subsidy?

The new subsidy smushes (there is no better word) the means-tested childcare benefit and the not-means-tested-rebate you’ve been currently on (your rate will still remain at 50%). The 50% rate remains between incomes of $171,958 to $252,248 and goes down to 0% once $351,248 is reached.

Some inner city workers may be caught by the new hourly cap for centre-based daycare, which is $11.77. There are however positives on the horizon. The standard that saw more than 100,000 families stare down a date each year when the rebate “tap” would be turned off ($7500 in payment) and abysmally trudge on until a new financial year. It is important to note that there will be no cap for families on income up to $186,958, and a $10,190 one per child above that.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/12″ column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]