The new school year is already a few weeks old already so I thought it would be a good idea to go through some of the changes that are made to your Child Care Subsidy when starting school and what else you need to do.
You can continue to receive the Child Care Subsidy for each child up until they are 13 years old and not attending secondary school. If you have started using a before and after school care programs or holiday program that is appropriately approved with Centrelink you can continue to receive the Child Care Subsidy toward those fees – which is great!
Changes to your Hourly Rate Cap
The amount of Child Care Subsidy that you receive per child, per hour is dependent on your income, how many Activity hours you perform per fortnight and the type of service that you use. Different types of services have different hourly rate caps. If you want more details on the calculation of your Child Care Subsidy then refer here.
The cap is the maximum amount per hour that you could receive Child Care Subsidy for. If you pay more to your centre per hour than the hourly rate cap then you will be out of pocket for 100% of this gap.
Centre Based Care has an hourly rate cap of $11.77 (for 2018-19), Family Day Care is $10.90 and Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) is $10.29. OSHC includes before, after and vacation care.
Your Subsidy Rate percentage should stay the same as this is based on your income. But the dollar amount that you receive as a subsidy per hour will decrease as it is calculated as a percentage on the hourly rate cap which has now become lower.
Tell Centrelink that your child has started school
As mentioned above, the hourly rate cap is reduced when your child starts school. However you still need to tell Centrelink that your child has started school as they won’t automatically know this.
You can do this in mygov. Click on the Menu button in the top left corner. Go to Child Care Subsidy – View/Update Child Education Details. Click the little pencil button and change the status from ‘has not commenced studies’ to ‘Primary Education.’ Then add the date that they started school.
In the Centrelink App you do this by clicking on the Child Care Subsidy Button and click on your child’s name. Update the Schooling Details information down the bottom of the list.
What you should also know is that if your child turns 6 while attending Centre Based Care – they will automatically be moved to the OSHC rate even if they haven’t yet started school.
Confirm any new enrolments
When you enrol in a new program or centre, the centre will lodge those details with Centrelink. You will then be required to confirm your enrolment and ensure that the information that has been lodged for you is correct.
You can do this through mygov and also through the Centrelink App. It’s actually very simple as the enrolment should already be listed and you just need to check it, click confirm and it’s done.
In mygov it’s through the Menu button Child Care Subsidy/ Enrolments. Check if any of the Enrolments say Unconfirmed, View the details and confirm if correct.
In the Centrelink App it is confirmed through the Child Care Subsidy Button. Look for the Enrolments listed under each child’s name. If any say Unconfirmed, click on those, check the details and use the Tick at the bottom to confirm the information.
Review your income
And finally, since you are making changes to your arrangements, it’s always a good idea to review the family income estimates you have recorded with Centrelink for both you and your partner.
Making changes now could stop any over or underpayments being made once the financial year has ended and you tax return lodged.
If you would like more information on the Child Care Subsidy, I have prepared The Child Care Subsidy Solution. A simple, straight forward FREE ebook that explains exactly what the new Subsidy is all about. You can download a copy by entering your details below.