Interview on Radio 4KZ Breakfast with Glenn Johns
Topics: Child care reforms
Glenn Johns: But right now I thought we’d catch up with the Senator, the Honourable Simon Birmingham. He’s the Minister for Education and Training.
Simon, thank you very much for giving us some time to have a chat this morning.
Simon Birmingham: Great to be with you.
Glenn Johns: Simon, the child care subsidy, there are changes coming up and I thought it’d be a good time to get in touch with you just to give families a reminder that you need to update your myGov information.
Simon Birmingham: Absolutely, Glenn. The Turnbull Government’s putting in place the biggest improvements to Australia’s child care subsidy system in around 40 years and they take effect on 2 July. So it’s a little over a week away now and it’s really important that families make sure that, to get every cent they’re entitled to, they update their information on myGov, and they can obviously go straight to their myGov account, or they can go to education.gov.au/childcare. It’s got all of the information about how the new system can benefit their families, as well as links through to how to update their info.
Glenn Johns: Having done it with my family, it was pretty damn easy. There’s not a great deal because most of your information’s already there. You just have to give it a little bit of a tweak and then the office says we’ll get back to you with what the new arrangement is. It’s pretty simple.
Simon Birmingham: Absolutely, mate, and indeed I too did it with my family. I did it very early on in the piece to see and make sure that the system was straightforward for people. And I sat on the couch at home one Saturday night with the iPad and knocked it all over in about 10 minutes. And it really is a straightforward process and of course it’s 10 minutes spent to possibly be hundreds or thousands of dollars a year better off for many, many families.
Glenn Johns: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Our child care centre yesterday, we were checking out what it all means and there’s good savings coming our way.
Simon Birmingham: Yep absolutely and that’s because what we’re doing is we’re investing a bit more money, but we are also really importantly targeting it to make sure the greatest hours of subsidised care go towards families working the longest hours and the greatest rate of subsidy goes to Australians on low and middle incomes to make sure that there is extra support there for people. And on our assessment to date, around Queenslanders who’ve switched over to the new system, they’ll be about $1500 per annum, per child better off.
Glenn Johns: Wow. That’s not an insignificant amount especially if you’re on struggle street. So I guess, online, update your information and pocket the savings.
Simon Birmingham: Absolutely. Nine hundred thousand plus Australians have made the switch already. So we’re hoping and believing the vast majority have done so. But anybody out there, if you haven’t, don’t let there be a disruption to your payments. Don’t miss out on the extra support the Turnbull Government is providing to meet your child care bills. This is about helping your family, easing the cost of living pressures, as well as ensuring you’re able to choose to work the hours or days that best suit your family circumstances.
Glenn Johns: I really appreciate your time, Simon. I know you’re very busy with all sorts of other stuff happening within the Government. So nice talking with you and we’ll catch up with you another time.
Simon Birmingham: My pleasure. Thanks so much.
Glenn Johns: Thank you very much. Simon Birmingham, the Minister for Education and Training.