Fotherespie

How does childcare funding work over here? I'm confused!

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    Hello everyone, So we're on day 5! I've been to meet the new boss and we're trying to find a rental asap.. hopefully in a few weeks we can relax a bit. We really need to get childcare in place for my 3 1/2 year old little boy (but need the rental first). I'm really confused about finding the best option for him, we've popped into a kindie and they said he would start in Feb, the fees seem pretty high there. I've been told by a few ex pats that we will be eligible for government assistance with childcare but I'm struggling to find this information anywhere. My husband has taken a job that is a few steps below his uk post so this is a fairly important that we watch the pennies for the time being. Any information would be helpful or even a cuppa with someone that's gone through this?

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    Guest Guest75

    To check for entitlements (if any) you would be best calling into your local Centelink Office.

    They will be the best source of info and advice.

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    Yep if your are on a PR Visa you may well be entitled to a rebate on Childcare plus or minus Childcare benefit. We went into centre link and filled in all of the forms - however after three months we got a letter saying not entitled but we knew we were! My husband rang up centrelink and the woman said that the people in the office aren't trained but the ones on the phones are (crazy!) so best to ring up - often a long wait though! Anyway she rushed the claim through as we had waited so long and we were given our back pay within a couple of days!

     

    I have a 3 and a half year old daughter so know how stressful it all can be!

     

    Even know we have the claim done it's all very confusing!

    Let me know if I can help with any other questions! :)

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    if you have PR status, child care fees are means tested so what you pay will depend on what you earn. You can claim back half of out of pocket expenses providing your working and that part is not means tested. If that makes any sense.

     

    You may also be entitled to child/family benefit again means tested

     

     

    nikki

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    As others have said there are two possible forms of assistance with childcare fees. The first is childcare benefit which is means tested and awarded on a sliding scale, so the more you earn the less you get. Your childcare centre may be able to provide you with a schedule of fees for the different levels of childcare benefit (the one my kids go to has such a schedule).

     

    How much childcare benefit you will get will be based on your estimated earnings for the year. It is best to estimate. higher rather than lower as any overpayments have to be paid back. It is also possible to opt for a zero rated childcare benefit level and then when your tax return is completed they will work out what you should have been paid and pay out a lump sum at this point. The only reason you would do this is if you weren't sure about your potential earnings and would be close to the means tested cut off.

     

    The other form of childcare assistance is childcare rebate. This is not means tested and pays out 50% of your out of pocket costs. If you get childcare benefit then your out if pocket costs are the amount you pay after the childcare benefit has been paid. If you don't qualify for childcare benefit then it is 50% of the fees, although the maximum payout in a year is about $7.5k. To get the childcare rebate you have to register for childcare benefit, even if you know you will not qualify for it. You can opt for the childcare rebate to be paid weekly, quarterly or yearly (I think - it's definitely quarterly and yearly and I think the other option is weekly).

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    That's really incredibly helpful! So if for example a days childcare was 50 dollars irelevent of what we earnt we would get a rebate of 25? Is this only with certain childcare centers or can it be any childcare?

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    That's really incredibly helpful! So if for example a days childcare was 50 dollars irelevent of what we earnt we would get a rebate of 25? Is this only with certain childcare centers or can it be any childcare?

     

    Not sure about this. Pretty sure most forms of childcare are covered, but it might be best to check the centrelink site to see if you can find out more.

     

    Just found this http://m.mychild.gov.au/IFP/# it helps you to find out if the childcare is approved for childcare benefit (and rebate).

    Edited by NicF

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