Please find below a list of the most commonly asked questions;
A: The current daily fee before Child Care Subsidy is $80 per day.
At the commencement of care children will receive a kindy hat, shirt & sheets for an initial fee of $80, The children's sheet will be kept at the centre and cleaned weekly with their kindy hats. All Families will also pay an annual Membership fee of $5.00 upon commencement and at the beginning of each calendar year.
A: What is the Child Care Subsidy?
The Australian Government is committed to ensuring that Australian families are able to access affordable, flexible and high quality child care. The Government provides a number of subsidies and programs to help with the cost of child care, with the Child Care Subsidy being the main type of assistance that most families will use.
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible for the Child Care Subsidy the following requirements must be met:
• the child must
- be a ‘Family Tax Benefit child’ or ‘regular care child’ and
- be 13 or under and not attending secondary school and
- meet immunisation requirements
• the person claiming the Child Care Subsidy, or their partner, must
- meet residency requirements and
- meet the Child Care Subsidy activity test (or be eligible for an exemption) and
- be liable to pay for care provided under a Complying Written Arrangement (their written agreement) with their child care provider
• child care must be provided by an approved provider in Australia and not be part of a compulsory education program, for example school.
There are exemptions for individuals who genuinely cannot meet some eligibility requirements.
How much can a family receive?
The level of subsidy a family receives will depend on three factors:
• Income – a family’s (both partners) combined income
• Activity test – what activities the individual and their partner undertake or exemptions that might apply and
• Service type – the type of approved child care service used, for example Centre Based Day Care.
Combined Family Income
The table below outlines combined family income and relevant rate of Child Care Subsidy to which families will be entitled.
Combined family income Subsidy per cent of the actual fee charged (up to relevant percentage of the hourly rate cap)
Up to $66,958^ 85 per cent
More than $66,958^ to below $171,958^ Decreasing to 50 per cent*
$171,958^ to below $251,248^ 50 per cent
$251,248^ to below $341,248 Decreasing to 20 per cent*
$341,248^ to below $351,248^ 20 per cent
$351,248^ or more 0 per cent
^These amounts are correct for 2018-19 and will be subject to adjustment through indexation in subsequent years.
*Subsidy gradually decreases by 1 per cent for each $3000 increase in family income.
The amount of subsidy a family receives will be their Child Care Subsidy percentage of the hourly fee charged or the applicable hourly rate cap, whichever is lower (see hourly caps under Service type below).
Families can use the Department of Human Services Payment and Service Finder (humanservices.gov.au/paymentfinder) to estimate how much Child Care Subsidy they may be entitled to by entering their details.
The number of hours of subsidised child care to which a family will be entitled will depend on how much time parents spend undertaking recognised activities, for example work, training, volunteering or study.
The Child Care Subsidy activity test takes into account both parents’ (if applicable) activities, however, the maximum hours a family will receive will be based on the person with the lowest level of activity. A broad range of activities will meet the activity test requirements.
For people with irregular work hours, such as casual employment, an estimate can be used based on the highest number of hours they expect to work in any one fortnight over a three-month period.
There is a three-step activity test to calculate how many hours to which a family will be entitled.
Step Hours of activity (per fortnight) Maximum number of hours of subsidy (per fortnight)
1 8 hours to 16 hours 36 hours
2 More than 16 hours to 48 hours 72 hours
3 More than 48 hours 100 hours
There is an hourly rate cap for each hour of child care provided which differs depending on the type of approved child care service used.
Where a child care provider charges less than the hourly rate cap, a family’s subsidy will be their Child Care Subsidy percentage of the actual fee charged.
If a child care provider charges more than the hourly rate cap, a family’s subsidy will be their Child Care Subsidy percentage of the relevant hourly rate cap.
Hourly rate cap (children below school age)
Centre Based Day Care $11.77
These hourly rate caps are correct for 2018-19 and will be subject to adjustment through indexation in subsequent years.
Is there an annual cap?
If a family earns $186,958 (in 2018-19) or less, they will not have an annual cap on their Child Care Subsidy each financial year.
If a family earns more than $186,958 and less than $351,248, child care costs will be subsidised up to an annual cap of $10,190 per child each financial year. The annual cap will be increased each year.
How will the Child Care Subsidy be paid?
Child Care Subsidy will be paid directly to child care providers to pass on to families as a fee reduction so that their fees are reduced at the time they use child care. Families will pay their provider the difference between their subsidy and the fees charged. Families will not be able to elect to receive their subsidy as a lump sum at the end of the financial year. Families will need to make a claim for Child Care Subsidy when (or before) each child starts attending care.
Any Child Care Subsidy owed to families following the end of year reconciliation process will be paid directly to families as a lump sum. If a family has been overpaid Child Care Subsidy during the year the family may have to repay some Child Care Subsidy (a debt).
When does a family stop receiving Child Care Subsidy?
If a family earns $351,248 (in 2018-19) or more per year, they will not be entitled to any Child Care Subsidy. However, high income families who are not certain of their combined family income for the year ahead, are encouraged to make a claim for Child Care Subsidy. This maintains their eligibility for Child Care Subsidy throughout the year and will ensure they receive entitlement if their actual income at the end of the financial year ends up being below $351,248.
What is the Child Care Subsidy withholding?
Child Care Subsidy withholding is designed to help families avoid or minimise debts at reconciliation, which could occur due to changes in circumstances throughout the year (for example, changes to family incomes or activities).
Parents can request their percentage of withholding be adjusted up or down through Centrelink. However, withholding is important as it helps protect families from possible debts. After reconciliation any outstanding subsidy is returned to the family.
Five per cent of all families’ Child Care Subsidy will be withheld by the Government, however, withholding will not apply to Additional Child Care Subsidy payments.
What is the Additional Child Care Subsidy?
The Additional Child Care Subsidy is a top up payment in addition to the Child Care Subsidy which will provide targeted additional fee assistance to families and children who need extra support.
The Additional Child Care Subsidy has four elements:
• child wellbeing
• temporary financial hardship
• transition to work.
Where can I get further information on the child care package?
• Visit the Department of Education and Training Child Care Package website at education.gov.au/eccc
• Visit the Department of Human Services Child Care Subsidy website humanservices.gov.au/childcaresubsidy
A: Normal fees will apply when your booked day falls on a public holiday or absence due to holidays or illness. We are a non-profit centre and we still need to charge to cover operational costs. Fees will not be charged over the Christmas Closure period.
A: For further information on your eligibility for CCB, CCR and JET Child Care fee assistance please contact the Australian Government Department of Human services:
◾access Online Services at www.humanservices.gov.au/onlineservices
◾call 13 61 50 between 8 am and 8 pm (local time) Monday to Friday
◾visit a Service Centre (located in Medicare Offices, and Centrelink Service Centres).
For news and information on child care visit the mychild website available at www.mychild.gov.au
Access the Child Care Estimator at www.humanservices.gov.au/estimators
Family Assistance payment rates fact sheet, available at www.humanservices.gov.au
If you need to, you can also call:
◾Teletypewriter (TTY) 1800 810 586 (if you are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment). You need a TTY phone to use this service.
◾13 12 02 if you need information in a language other than English.
Lower fees for Health Care Card holders
If you, your child or foster child are Health Care Card holders or Australian Government Pension Concession card holders, you should ask your provider if they can claim our subsidy to reduce your kindergarten program fees.
You will need to show the provider your card and they will keep a copy.
Information about eligibility for concession and Health Care Cards is available on Centrelink’s website.
Lower fees for triplets or more
If you have kindy-aged, multiple-birth children of triplets or more, you are eligible for the same reduced costs as Health Care Card holders. You will need to show your service provider proof of your children’s birth date.
A: At Musgrave Hill Community we pride ourselves on having high quality educators. All of our Senior Educators have their Advanced or Diploma of Children’s Services. We have our educators with their Certificate 3 in Children’s Services now enrolled in their Diploma of Children’s Services. All educators hold a current First Aid Certificate and Blue Card.
A: At Musgrave Hill Community we provide your child with Morning Tea, Lunch and Afternoon Tea made fresh each day by a qualified cook. We also supply milk and water for all meal times. Each day we cover the recommended percentage of your child’s daily dietary intake. We will take into consideration all children’s individual requirements relating to allergies or intolerances, and value the children’s home and cultural backgrounds and reflect this in our menu planning and activities. We will ensure that a nutritious diet will be provided each day from a variety of foods.
A: Normal fees will apply when your booked day falls on a public holiday or absence due to holidays or illness. Musgrave Hill Community is a non-profit centre and we still need to charge to cover operational costs.
Fees will not be charged over the Christmas Closure period.
A: We do not have a minimum booking in the Nursery, Toddlers or Junior Kindy rooms.
However, there is a 2 day minimum in our Kindergarten Room to ensure that your child receives adequate preparation for schooling.
A: We request that you keep your child home if they are ill. This helps reduce the risk to other children and educators. If your child becomes ill during their day at the centre, we will ring the family contact numbers on the enrolment form. Please ensure that all current contact numbers are correct to avoid any delay.
A: At Musgrave Hill Community we work as a team and our educators are familiar with all children and families at our Centre. When a staff member is away we have a number of educators who work part-time to take on the additional days/hours wherever possible. This provides continuity for the children and families.
A: The Australian Government and state and territory governments’ recognise the importance of increasing their focus on the early years to ensure the wellbeing of children throughout their lives and to lift the productivity of our nation as whole. The drive for change is based on clear evidence that the early years of children’s lives are very important for their present and future health, development and wellbeing.
A: The Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) describes the principles, practices and outcomes essential to young children’s learning from birth to five years of age, as well as their transition to school. It’s part of the Australian Government’s National Quality Framework for early childhood education and care.
The framework has a strong emphasis on play-based learning, recognising the importance of communication and language (including early literacy and numeracy) and social and emotional development. There are five learning outcomes defined by the EYLF:
◾Children have a strong sense of identity.
◾Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
◾Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.
◾Children are confident and involved learners.
◾Children are effective communicators.
A: Play is the way in which children learn. They learn most effectively when they are relaxed and having fun. Children’s learning becomes meaningful when they are free to learn at their own rate and in their own way. It has previously been thought that teaching children earlier is better; that teacher directed work is the most efficient way for children to learn and play has little value. Research shows us that a work-oriented, rigid approach to learning is not likely to help children develop a love of learning or provide the skills and attitude they need to be life-long learners.
Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination, dexterity, and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. Play is important to healthy brain development. It is through play that children at a very early age engage and interact in the world around them.