What you said Child Care Subsidy mini-poll

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  Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2018

What you said Child Care Subsidy mini-poll

Library Home  >  Cost of Child Care
  Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2018
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Introduction of the single Child Care Subsidy has impacted everyone using early childhood education and care services. With mixed reports as to how well the transition has been managed and the impacts of the reform, we thought it would be interesting to survey members of the CareforKids.com.au community to learn what their experiences have been.

875 people answered our survey over a two-week period, here's what we learned:

When asked about the transition process 46 per cent of respondents said they found the process of changing from the Child Care Benefit and Rebate to the Child Care Subsidy straightforward and easy. 37 per cent said they found it a bit tricky but they got there in the end, while 17 per cent (147 people) said the process was a nightmare that's still underway.

When asked what the financial impact of the Child Care Subsidy has been 30 per cent of respondents (259 people) said they were better off financially, 32 per cent (283 people) said they were worse off financially, 22 per cent (190 people) said they were about the same and 16 percent (144 people) said it was too early to tell.

In question three we asked respondents to let us know whether there had been any changes to their child care fees since the subsidy took effect. More than half of respondents (52 per cent) said their fees had gone up since 2 July, 34 per cent said fees haven't changed and 13 percent (117 respondents) said they didn't know either way.

An important component of the new Child Care Subsidy has been introduction of an activity test, which is one of the measures the government uses to determine a family's eligibility and how much subsidy they will receive. We were curious to learn whether introduction of the activity test meant some families would be excluded from early childhood education and care services, our Mini Poll showed that while introduction of the activity test made no difference to the vast majority of parents (81 per cent), 15 per cent said they had reduced their hours as a result of the test and just under 4 per cent (32 people), said they had withdrawn their child from care.

In the last question we asked CareforKids.com.au community members to tell us whether they had any thoughts or comments on the Child Care Subsidy, and their experiences with it so far. Thoughts were varied:

"Government computer glitches caused our approval to be revoked (in error) and we paid full fees for a few weeks. Took 2 very long phone calls to resolve it."

"Although we are better off financially (which is awesome) we do have access to less days. We used to be able to use child care 5 days a week should we have needed it, but we can only use 3 now. My husband works full time and I work 3 days a week, this leaves us with no wiggle room should we have last minute things pop up, meaning we pay full fees for a 4th day if needed."

"We are unable to have our toddler continue with her pre kindy day care program due to the activity test as I've recently had a baby and was on contract so not entitled to maternity leave."

"It has made me consider getting a nanny instead or reducing hours."

"I am no longer eligible for the in home care program, which is a big blow to our family."

"We are slightly better off financially since this came into effect, though this was slightly offset by a fee increase by our centre. However I'm ok with the fee increase as I know child care workers are not paid that well, and they do a great job."

"As an Aboriginal family accessing Family Day Care I have been confused, stressed and left calling Centrelink many times in order to try and work out the new system."

"Because the CCS is paid per hour but our centre bills per day, we're not covered for the entire time the kids are in care."

"It's a bit hard to tell if we're just over the rebate cap amount or not? We're worse off by $200 a week, but our rebate last year ran out after 6 months so we're hoping long term over the year we'll be financially better off."

"It is an absolute nightmare for sales professionals who have a variable component of their salary. I'm terrified that we'll wind up with a huge bill at the end of the year if I perform well at work or if my husband gets a good bonus from his company."

"Child care is still much too expensive. I'm considering taking time off work until my youngest starts school because it doesn't make financial sense to work and spend 75 per cent of my income on day care."

"The limit of 100 hours of subsidised care for parents working full time will hit us very hard when I return to work full time, as our centre charges for 12 hour days."

"I find it frustrating that the same government that talks about supporting women for senior leadership roles in business and government won't support them financially with child support. Seems hypocritical to me, and it says they don't really support successful women."

Thank you to all those that took part in the poll and congratulations to Sheree J the winner of the $200 Iconic voucher .

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Thursday, 09 July 2020

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