By now, you probably heard of the new Child Care Subsidy that will come in to effect from 2 July 2018. So how do you prepare and what do you need to do to get ready for the change?
In our recent post ‘The New Child Care Subsidy – An Overview for Parents’, you would’ve hopefully gained a better understanding of what the new Child Care Subsidy actually is, how it differs to the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate that we’re used to, and what it entails.
You know that the new Child Care Subsidy will commence on 2 July 2018, but what does that actually mean? What do you, as a parent of a child enrolled in a child care service, actually need to do to transition to the new system?
Unfortunately, as the new subsidy is one overall package eliminating what were previously two packages, you won’t be automatically rolled over to the new system. More importantly, without completing the assessment required to transition, you will not receive any subsidy from 2 July 2018.
There are a number of things you can do to get yourself ready for the new Child Care Subsidy.
1. Familiarise yourself with the changes and the new Child Care Subsidy
We covered the new Child Care Subsidy and what it entails in detail, in a previous post ‘The New Child Care Subsidy – An Overview for Parents’. If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check it out.
2. Update your details through myGov
Completing the transition to the new system is easy and can be done through your myGov account.
If you don’t already have a myGov online account, now would be an ideal time to create one. The YMCA Children’s Programs website has published an excellent PDF tutorial on how to create a MyGov account. Check out the ‘How to create a myGov account‘ for step-by-step instructions.
MyGov allows you to access online services of numerous government online services, including Centrelink, Medicare and the Taxation department, all within the one portal.
Once you have a myGov account, you will need to link it to any government services you utilise (most importantly Centrelink, where the Child Care Subsidy is concerned). Any web browser for the aforementioned, or their corresponding smart phone apps, can help to make the next few steps much easier to follow. These same steps can be followed for families currently receiving Special Child Care Benefit for a child at risk or for financial hardship.
For families currently receiving child care assistance, you will need to complete the Child Care Subsidy assessment.
You will be asked to input information relating to:
- Combined family income
- Activity test of each parent
- Child’s early education details
An official step-by-step guide, complete with desktop-related screenshots, can be found here.
Once each of those steps has been completed, you’re done! You have successfully prepared for the new Child Care Subsidy and do not need to do anything further.
Centrelink will notify you once they’ve assessed your claim application.
If for some reason, you notice anything incorrect or unusual, or your child’s details are wrong, please be sure to contact Centrelink as soon as possible. It is imperative that all information is correct before 2nd July 2018 in order for you to receive the entitlements you are eligible for. It’s also a great idea to contact the service provider your child is enrolled at, to confirm with them that you have completed the process.
3. Check out the Payment and Service Finder
Centrelink provide online estimators for parents to utilise in order to estimate the possible subsidy amount. This can be found at Payment and Service Finder.
4. Contact Centrelink directly
If you have any questions at all or would like to discuss the new Child Care Subsidy assessment process, you can contact Centrelink directly either online, in person at your local Centrelink office or phone Centrelink on 136 150 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm).
5. Speak to your early education and care service provider
If you have any questions or concerns about the new Child Care Subsidy and how it may affect you, speak to your early education and care provider. They are there to support families and will be able to answer any questions you may have.
The sooner you complete the assessment, the better! Completing it now will ensure you have time to rectify or discuss any concerns or issues that may arise, and ensure that the subsidy you receive is accurate. It doesn’t take a lot of time to complete, and if the government’s hopes are anything to go by, this new subsidy should be more supportive and allow for more flexibility for your family!