View Full Version : childcare - can I pick your brain?
I have no idea about the child care system and would love some info or at least to be pointed in the right direction.
I am thinking about perhaps heading back to work for 1-2 days per week. I would rather not, but finances may dictate.
Anyway, an opportunity may present itself and I was wondering what chilcare options there ware for a 6 month old and what sort of support the government offers.
I believe it is income based reimbursement but am totally clueless.
Can anyone help?
Most child care centres accept children as young as 6 weeks so 6 months is not a problem.
Another option is a family day care, which is basically one person (woman usually) running a day care out of her home for a maximum of 4 pre-school children. She operates under a family day care Scheme which may be either run by the local council or by an independent organisation. The Scheme provides training, support, supervision and random inspections and checks of each family daycare. I believe the scheme also provides insurance for the family day carers but not sure on that.
Childcare centres and family daycare schemes should be licenced by the state. They may also be registered with the National Childcare Accredication Council (NCAC (http://www.ncac.gov.au/help_for_families/choosing_quality_care.html)). In my opinion most good childcares will go for the NCAC accreditation. If you use a childcare centre or a family daycare you will be eligible for some rebate on the fees, though I'm not sure how much. You could talk to Centrelink about that.
Other options are to hire a nanny or have a relative provide care, or even a neighbour. These options don't always allow for a rebate on the cost of childcare, and you are on your own when it comes to making sure you are getting the quality of care you need. Nannies, relatives or other independent providers of daycare are not registered, supervised, checked by government, etc.
The NCAC link I put in above will take you to some tips on selecting a quality childcare.
I only have experience with the NSW and QLD childcare system but can help with the government assistance part
It's called Child Care Benefit (CCB), and it's paid directly to the centre u attend and is based on the yearly predicted income u tell them u will earn , make sure this is very accurate as if u underestimate your income they will bill u at the end of the financial year.
If u are working you get up to 50 hrs a week of ccb, if not u get 20 hrs, The max amount u can get (if u and partner earn under 30,000 approx a year) is $2.74 per hour, if u earn more the amount drops down as a % up until u earn over 80,000, then it fades out, These figures are as close to accurate as i can remember!!!!
So take the centre's daily fee, and take away your ccb entitlement and your left with the gap fee, which is what u actually pay
Most centre's can estimate your fee using there computer system, but it won't be accurate until u apply to centrelink and they are sent your actual % rate.
If your not entitled to much u can claim it at the end of the financial year, this is often easier especially if your income will fluctuate, and it's hard to estimate. Probably WA isthe same as here, it takes sometimes a year on a waitlist to get a baby or toddler place in a centre so good luck, family daycare is a possibility too, u still get ccb, contact your local council for info - there's always a nanny or mummy nanny, thats more expensive but the easiest option!!!!
Check out the centre's carefully and u can check out the National Childcare Accreditation Website for info on regulations etc, they are in charge of checking and registering all childcare centre's in Australia
Let me know if u need to know more
Thanks you guys so much for your quick amd comprehensive responses...
Will weigh up some options now.
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