The birth of a child is a much anticipated, awaited and joyous event in the life of a married couple. However, raising a child or children is expensive because child care costs are fairly unpredictable. Of course, you budget for some child care expenses, but still, it is a pretty costly affair for low and middle-income families. The government provides child care subsidy as an assistance to its citizens. This is a highly beneficial aid given to parents to help with the expenses of child care.
Eligibility For Child Care Subsidy
Families requesting for subsidy, should meet some basic and important criteria. If these criterias are met, they become eligible for
child care subsidy. The most important requirements are these:
- The child should be 13 years of age or less and not attending secondary school. Of course, exemptions apply for disabled or special needs children who require supervision at all times
- The child is adequately and properly immunized and vaccinated and all medical requirements are met. The Medicare card of the child will reflect these records and support your claim
- Parents seeking subsidy are responsible for paying the child care expenses
- The family or partner seeking subsidy need to meet certain residency criteria
- The child must not be enrolled in any compulsory education program. Instead he must be in the care of an approved child care provider.
Subsidy Amount Sanctioned
Once the officials determine eligibility, the entitlement or subsidy amount will be provided based on the following three factors.
Combined Annual Family Income
Lower income families get a higher percentage of
child care subsidy. The percentage of subsidy gradually reduces as the combined annual family income of both the parents, increases. Therefore, this means that high income families are not eligible for this government financial support.
The number of hours per week actively spent in doing paid work, volunteering, training, searching for work or self-employment, of each parent, are taken into account. This information is then used to arrive at the number of hours of subsidized child care that families can be allowed.
More importantly, both parents undergo the activity test. The officials determine subsidy based on the parents who clocks a lower number of working hours.
Also, child care is accessible any time during the week. For example, even if the parents work on weekends, the care hours can vary. It does not have to exactly match the working hours of the parents.
This refers to the type of service chosen by the family to provide child care. The service type can be in the form of ‘Family daycare’ or ‘In-Home care’. It can also be Center Based Daycare or before and after school hours care.
The care service providers set their fee, and the government then pays them directly. The government then passes the subsidy for the families who avail their services in the form of reduced fees. Therefore, parents only pay the difference between the actual fee and the aid provided by the government.
There is a differential hourly rate cap applicable. The government arrives at this cap based on the type of service accessed by the parents.
How To Claim
You can follow the below-mentioned procedure to apply and claim child care subsidy:
- File an online claim
- Get ready the supporting documents to validate your claim
- Answer all the questions asked on the site and upload all the supporting documents
- Lastly, submit your claim and wait for a positive reply.