1. No that wasn't the minimum, I paid less when I earnt less. The CCB reduces your fees, but not based on the actual fees your centre charges.

There is a "standard" fee that the government uses and your CCB reduces that standard fee. If your centre charges more than the standard fee (which most do) then you have to pay the difference.

So for example, say the standard fee is \$50 a day (I have no idea what it actually is, just a random example) but your centre charges \$97 a day. If your CCB percentage is, say, 50% - you will get 50% off the \$50 and then have to pay the other \$47.

So your total fee would be \$25 + \$47 = \$72 a day, and the government gives the centre the other \$25.

You then get 50% of the \$72 back as the rebate (you can get it fortnightly, quarterly or annually).

I know it's really confusing! There is a calculator on the family assistance website (www.familyassist.gov.au) you can put in your estimated income, estimated fees, number of kids etc and it will give you an estimated out of pocket figure.

2. Originally Posted by shelle65
No that wasn't the minimum, I paid less when I earnt less. The CCB reduces your fees, but not based on the actual fees your centre charges.

There is a "standard" fee that the government uses and your CCB reduces that standard fee. If your centre charges more than the standard fee (which most do) then you have to pay the difference.

So for example, say the standard fee is \$50 a day (I have no idea what it actually is, just a random example) but your centre charges \$97 a day. If your CCB percentage is, say, 50% - you will get 50% off the \$50 and then have to pay the other \$47.

So your total fee would be \$25 + \$47 = \$72 a day, and the government gives the centre the other \$25.

You then get 50% of the \$72 back as the rebate (you can get it fortnightly, quarterly or annually).

I know it's really confusing! There is a calculator on the family assistance website (www.familyassist.gov.au) you can put in your estimated income, estimated fees, number of kids etc and it will give you an estimated out of pocket figure.
Thank you Shelle65, that was perfect.

I just called up Family Day Care to find out about avaiability and fees etc and ended up crying on the phone I sooo don't want to put her in care!!

3. For me personally- I would go childcare near home. I say this because I'm fairly certain that you are only allowed a certain number of sick days/days off of childcare at which point your CCB is affected. So, if I was to have a sick day or a day off and wanted DS to go to childcare, I'd have to travel however many kms to get him there.
Than again, I'm lucky that home, work, CC and school is all within 20min (in traffic) of each other.

FDC and CC- I think it depends on the centre/fdc. Like schools- good and bad of both. DS goes to a wonderful centre (for OHSC- started there when he was 18months old, and attends the same centre for Vacation care)- I really love it. They provide breaki and afternoon tea. Awesome afternoon tea too- scones, picklets, spagetti, fruit etc etc They always have projects going. They just finished making a robot out of recycled items, and now they are learning sign language and Spanish! I just love his centre.

Anyway, sorry- having a moment.

Just book her in, go with your gut feeling about the centre. You'll know. Try and team it to work simultaneously so your not out a whole lot with fees. The couple of days play sounds like a great idea. Good luck!

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I used to have DS in a centre closer to work, it was great, but I did find that on the times when I was sick it was a pain, because I would have loved to take him in so I could rest, but because it wasn't close it was a hassle. Now I have one near home and I much prefer it. I used to live in Elwood, and I called port Phillip council and put him on a list, it took over a year. If I were you I would call centres directly and check availability. It is hard putting them in care, and some days I beat myself up with guilt, but honestly, he loves it. He's making friends, being social.

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7. Originally Posted by Wonky Donkey
**I posted this in Single Parents, but please anyone feel free to respond.**

I am looking at getting back to work but I feel a bit overwhelmed and not sure of the best way to approach it.

I am a sole parent of a 16 month old (and a 13yo). My DD has never been in childcare or cared for by anyone else for more than a couple of hours. She coped fine as long as she wasn't aware of me leaving and had plenty of distractions.

I'm not on any waiting lists for childcare because I wasn't sure where I would be working/living when I did go back to work. I am staying at my mums right now, 30-40 mins away from my DS's school. Is it better to have care close to work, home or DS's school (although he is starting to catch public transport now)? I always intended moving back to be near school, or at least a few train stations away but the way rents have increased this might not be an option.

I can't afford to pay for childcare before I start working. I receive FTB payments and a small amount of child support only and I think I will get all the child care rebates. I know logically I need to make sure I can get care before applying for jobs, from what I hear I will have to pay a deposit to secure days, so this is also an issue. I also want to ease DD into care but can't see how I can do it (financially).

Sorry this is garbled and I think I had more to write but I can't think of it right now.

ETA I am looking at doing 30 hours (or more) work. I am in Bayside, Melbourne if anyone has an idea about childcare availability in the area.

TIA
Sorry it took so long to get back to this..... I am usually only on for short periods...

So the childcare/work timing thing is a major hurdle for me too. DS is 19 months but goes to my sisters child care centre 2 days a week for a year now so is used to it and has always loved it. But I have the same issue that if I return to work I am going to need the childcare days up front, in a centre nearby - but the wait lists for 0-2's are sooo long so it's impossible really. I recently had some days come up in another centre he was on the wait list for (as a back-up) for 15 months! But I had to turn them down as I don't have work yet!

Ok so DD is 16 months...? 8 months away from being 2. If she is not currently on any wait lists then you may find it impossible at this stage depending on what it's like in Melbrourne... first things first, call around a few centres and getan idea of wait list times.

If you can't get in, the only other option you will have will be
1. to wait until she's 2 (should be able to get spots then)
2. put her name down at several centres and hire a babysitter/nanny for the hours you work initially and hope for the best! You need to call the centre's regularly to check for spots as you're more likely to get priority perhaps if you happen to ring at the right time.

Depending on how much you earn, option 2 may not work for you in which case you may just have to wait until she is 2. I also don't have anyone to watch DS during the week as everyone works, which makes it very difficult for me - he does get priority for any extra days that come up at his current centre, but I now live in a regional area and will most likely have to go to the city to work so will need to either travel or relocate for a while and thus will need child care close by.

I would hire a babysitter/nanny at first if the right job came up though (flexible hours/shorter days) even though it will leave will broke at first until c/care spots come up but at least I know he'll get a spot soonish and I have a good job that suits us.

Hope this helps just a little and good luck hon

8. Originally Posted by BlackEyedPea
Sorry it took so long to get back to this..... I am usually only on for short periods...

So the childcare/work timing thing is a major hurdle for me too. DS is 19 months but goes to my sisters child care centre 2 days a week for a year now so is used to it and has always loved it. But I have the same issue that if I return to work I am going to need the childcare days up front, in a centre nearby - but the wait lists for 0-2's are sooo long so it's impossible really. I recently had some days come up in another centre he was on the wait list for (as a back-up) for 15 months! But I had to turn them down as I don't have work yet!

Ok so DD is 16 months...? 8 months away from being 2. If she is not currently on any wait lists then you may find it impossible at this stage depending on what it's like in Melbrourne... first things first, call around a few centres and getan idea of wait list times.

If you can't get in, the only other option you will have will be
1. to wait until she's 2 (should be able to get spots then)
2. put her name down at several centres and hire a babysitter/nanny for the hours you work initially and hope for the best! You need to call the centre's regularly to check for spots as you're more likely to get priority perhaps if you happen to ring at the right time.

Depending on how much you earn, option 2 may not work for you in which case you may just have to wait until she is 2. I also don't have anyone to watch DS during the week as everyone works, which makes it very difficult for me - he does get priority for any extra days that come up at his current centre, but I now live in a regional area and will most likely have to go to the city to work so will need to either travel or relocate for a while and thus will need child care close by.

I would hire a babysitter/nanny at first if the right job came up though (flexible hours/shorter days) even though it will leave will broke at first until c/care spots come up but at least I know he'll get a spot soonish and I have a good job that suits us.

Hope this helps just a little and good luck hon
It's hard isn't it.

When I called the FDC I didn't know what to tell them. How many days, which days, spread out or in a row, which area, they couldn't even really tell me how much it would cost. I am yet to call some centres, totally procrastinating lol.

Where do people find babysitters? Surely that would cost a fortune without rebates etc?

Today I will call three centres.

9. What's the difference between a kindergarten, a preschool and early learning centre?

10. Ok, well firstly what you need is long daycare if you want CCB and CCR - my son is in a long daycare centre which means you pay a set fee for the whole day (\$75 at my centre), minus CCB (that is paid directly to the centre by the family assistance office), minus CCR (which covers 50% of the remaining amount and which I elected to be paid directly to the centre each week) - so I end up paying about \$25 a day for DS. If I return to work I'd be eligible for JET (jobs,education, training assistance) being a single parent, which means I'd only be paying about \$1 a day for child care!

I am not sure if CCB and CCR are paid for other care apart from long day care....? which is why the wait lists are so long - by the way I only currently leave him for around 5 hrs when he goes to kindy, I don't leave him for the whole 10 hrs!

Does this help at all?

11. Ow PS. there's babysitting websites... Just google search as there's a few.... there's plenty of listings on there and many are students, but not sure about all day babysitting. Other than that you'd prob need a nanny, which are quite expensive of course. If you can get shorter shifts getting one or two reliable babysitters might be a better option to start with until daycare spots come up...

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