Families struggling with the current cost of living crisis could soon have some relief with cheaper child care coming mid-year. The recently passed child care subsidy reforms were a component of Labor’s election platform, with a promise to make early childhood education and child care more affordable. According to the government, with the passing of the legislation, 96% of families with children in early childhood education and care will benefit, with no family being worse off.
From 1 July 2023, the rate of child care subsidy (CCS) that Australian families are entitled to receive will increase. Currently, the highest CCS percentage families can receive for their first child in care is 85%. With the passing of the legislation, families that earn up to $80,000 will receive a CCS rate of 90%, which will taper down until it reaches 0% for families earning $530,000.
The existing measure that provides a higher CCS rate for families with multiple children under five years old in child care will continue to apply, so that for second and younger children five years and under in care, families will receive an additional 30% up to a maximum of 95%.
The new rates will apply from the first CCS fortnight starting on 1 July 2023 and the base rate threshold of $80,000 will be indexed annually with CPI increases, although the amount will not be indexed in 2023.