Many parents know that the costs of childcare can be quite high and heavily influence the family budget. Luckily, in order to help out families and make good childcare programs more accessible and affordable, there are the Child Care Subsidy programs. These are in fact government payments that can help with the costs of childcare and can cover up to 85 percent of the fee. Also, the child care subsidy is paid directly to the childcare providers, reducing the amount of money that the parents have to pay for the fee. So, if you are interested in applying for this program, keep on reading to find some valuable information.
Who is eligible and how to apply
In order to start the application process, you first need to be eligible. This means that you are meeting the predetermined requirements, which include that you are caring for a child who is 13 or younger and is not attending secondary school, unless an exemption applies. Your family must also meet residency and immunization requirements. Furthermore, yofu should be using an approved childcare service and are responsible for paying the childcare fees. In case you meet all of these requirements, you can start the process of application. Luckily enough, the information on how does child care subsidy work and how to easily apply, is all available online so that all interested families can become knowledgeable. Once you have completed all the necessary paperwork, you can apply for the subsidy online using your Services Australia or MyGov account. It is highly advisable to start the process early, even before you have enrolled your child and before the little one starts their childcare program. This is important, as if you don’t complete the application and get the subsidy approved when the child starts in care, you will have to pay the complete amount of the fee by yourself.
How does it work and how much will you receive
The child care subsidy program does not necessarily cover the total amount of the childcare program fee, but it can cover a significant part of it. Moreover, this financial help will be directed straight to your chosen childcare provider, and how much of this assistance your family will be eligible for, depends on many factors. This includes the number of children who are in care, their age, childcare provider’s hourly rate, your family income, and the paid and unpaid activities that the members of your family are involved in. Make sure that, in these activities, you include job(s) and job hunting, study, and volunteering. You may even be able to include travel time (like driving your little one to childcare and back home, multiple times a week) as part of your activities in order to be eligible for the child care subsidy.
How to choose the childcare provider
This depends on your personal preferences and the quality that a certain provider offers in their childcare program, such as the environment of the center, the ways in which both creativity and learning are stimulated among children, etc. However, you should definitely go with an approved childcare service, in order to be eligible to apply for the subsidy. Moreover, you may want to choose a childcare center that offers flexible hours. Some parents have their children in care for the full day, while others only spend eight hours in care, but the parent may have to pay for the whole day. If you are in this situation, this means that you are paying for the time that your little one doesn’t actually spend in the childcare center. So, make sure to go for a childcare provider that has the best match for the hours of care you and your child need and use. This in turn will mean that you will have to pay for fewer childcare hours and the amount of money you have to add to the subsidy to pay for the total fee, will be reduced.
To conclude, we can say that using child care subsidy programs is a great option for covering or lowering the costs of childcare services. If your family is eligible for it, collect the necessary documentation and apply as soon as possible.