Australian families are set to save an average of $430 a year on their child care and early learning bills from lower fees even before the Turnbull Government’s increased subsidies come into effect, official analysis has revealed.
The analysis shows the savings for families arising from expected lower fee growth, before even factoring in the benefits of the reforms which will see families hundreds, if not thousands of dollars better off with the higher subsidy rates and increased investment from the Turnbull Government.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the new analysis on fee growth and projected savings for hardworking Australian families came as the Turnbull Government today launched an online estimator for them to work out how the child care and early learning reforms would impact their family budget.
“Around one million families are set to benefit from our overhaul of Australia’s child care and early learning system,” Minister Birmingham said.
“The easy-to-use estimator we’ve launched today will help families better plan and see there is relief in sight from what can be the crippling costs of child care and early learning.
“Simply put in a few details about your circumstances and the estimator tells you how much more your family can expect to receive in subsidies from the Government. The estimator is user-friendly, concise, and only takes a few minutes to fill out.
“For example, a family earning $85,000 with two children in long day care for three days a week stands to receive new Child Care Subsidy payments of $943 a fortnight, making them over $3,000 a year better off compared to current arrangements.
“The release of this practical tool means families can start planning their work and care arrangements ready for when the reforms come into effect on 2 July 2018.”
Minister Birmingham said on top of the information the estimator would offer about the Turnbull Government’s additional $2.5 billion investment in child care and early learning, analysis shows the typical family is set to save an extra $430 a year from lower fee increases.
“Hard working families are going to see immediate relief with the changes we’re making to increase subsidies and abolish the $7,500 rebate cap for the 85 per cent of families using child care on incomes below $185,000. The cap will be lifted to $10,000 for families on higher incomes.
“This analysis shows families will be saving money from our work to combat fee increases even before our reforms come into effect and those savings from lower fees keep building year on year.
“We’ve seen fee growth in long day care services average 6.8 per cent a year over the last decade and even spike up to 14 per cent under the previous Labor Government. Even without taking the behavioural change we expect to result from the package into account, fee increases are projected to drop to around 5.6 per cent. Our expectation is that the hourly rate cap we’re introducing will give Australians a benchmark price that further helps to constrain fee increases and makes this reduction even more significant to their hip pockets.
“This new information on fee savings and the subsidy estimator means families can see for themselves that the Turnbull Government is taking action to allow parents to choose when it suits them to return to work without rising child care fees acting as a barrier, while also supporting early learning opportunities for children.”
Minister Birmingham said the launch of the online estimator came as new data showed child care fees in the September 2016 annual quarter had risen by 5.8 per cent across all services.
The Child Care Subsidy Estimator is available at https://www.education.gov.au/child-care-subsidy
The September 2016 data on fees is available at https://www.education.gov.au/child-care-update