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Families better off as government fast-tracks childcare subsidies

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About a quarter of million families will be more than $2,200 a year better off when extra childcare subsidies begin early next year.

The additional subsidies for families with two or more children in care were due to start on July 11, but have been brought forward to March.

The changes affect families with two or more children aged five years and under who are in care.

They will have their childcare subsidies rate increased by 30 percentage points for their second child and any younger children, up to a maximum rate of 95 per cent.

More than half of eligible families will receive the maximum 95 per cent subsidy.

So this means, a family earning $110,000 a year with two kids in care, four days a week, will be better off by around $100 each week.

The $10,655 annual cap will also be scrapped earlier in December.

It will be applied retrospectively for the whole 2021-22 financial year. 

Anyone who reaches the cap before this date will have any additional out-of-pocket costs for the 2021-22 financial year reimbursed.

Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge says the changes will ease pressure on working families and encourage more parents into work.

“These changes are good for families and great for the economy, and it’s significant that we are able to deliver them sooner,” Minister Tudge says.

“Removing the cap and increasing subsidies means more parents, particularly mothers, can return to work or take on more hours if they choose to.

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Minister for Women’s Economic Security Senator Jane Hume says the package will particularly support mothers looking to get back into the workforce or take on more hours.

“Treasury estimates the additional subsidy will mean the equivalent of 40,000 parents are able to work an extra day per week, boosting the economy by up to $1.5 billion per year,” Minister Hume says.

 

Images: AAP/Dean Lewins/Mick Tsikas