Child care changes
Hank Jongen is General Manager at the Department of Human Services.
The new Child Care Subsidy will require families to update their information for relevant assessment by the Department of Human Services.
The Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate will be replaced with a single means-tested subsidy, the Child Care Subsidy, from 2 July 2018.
The Child Care Subsidy is paid directly to child care services to reduce the out-of-pocket costs for families.
The amount of subsidy your clients may be eligible for will depend on:
- their family income;
- an activity test;
- the type of child care service they use; and
- the age of their child.
Your client can estimate how much Child Care Subsidy they may be eligible for by using the Payment and Service Finder on the Department of Human Services’ website – humanservices.gov.au/paymentfinder
If they currently receive the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate for approved care, they will have received a letter from the Department in April asking them to complete a Child Care Subsidy assessment.
This will help the Department check if they are eligible for the new Child Care Subsidy and work out how much their subsidy will be.
To complete their assessment, your client will need to sign into their Centrelink online account through myGov and select the complete your Child Care Subsidy assessment task.
They will then need to work through the steps by providing the Department with new information and confirming their details in the prefilled sections.
Information we require includes:
- an estimate of their family income for 2018-2019;
- their activity level;
- the school status of their child; and
- confirmation of their child’s enrolment details.
We encourage your clients to complete their assessment as soon as possible to avoid paying child care fees in full from 2 July 2018.
More information about the Child Care Subsidy is available at humanservices.gov.au/childcaresubsidy
Also time is running out for families to lodge their 2016-17 financial year tax return or tell us if they don’t need to lodge one.
Families have until 30 June 2018 to do this, so we can balance their payments. If your client has a partner, the partner also needs to have lodged a tax return or advised us they don’t need to.
Balancing payments is where we compare your client’s income estimate with their actual income at the end of each financial year to make sure we pay them the correct amount of family assistance.
If they haven’t done so already, they can confirm their income by lodging a tax return with the Australian Taxation Office or by telling us they don’t need to lodge one.
They can do this by using their:
- Centrelink online account via myGov and selecting the Menu, then Family Assistance and Advise Non-Lodgement of Tax Return; or
- Express Plus Centrelink mobile app by selecting the Menu, then Advise Tax Non-Lodgement.
Read more about balancing family assistance payments at humanservices.gov.au/balancing