Current Child Care System
The Family Assistance Law is the basis for Commonwealth child care fee assistance, which includes, the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. It also provides for the approval of child care services to administer child care fee assistance on behalf of families using the service.
New Child Care Package
On 4 April 2017 the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Act 2017 (the Act) was given royal ascent which gives effect to the legislated components of the new child care package, including Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy. These elements will commence on 2 July 2018.
The Child Care Subsidy Minister’s Rules and Secretary’s Rules were registered on the Federal Register of Legislation on the 13 November 2017 and tabled in Parliament following this. The Rules give effect to the policy intent of the new child care package by setting out the requirements and details of certain rule-making provisions in the Act.
'Child swapping' is the practice where a Family Day Care educator, or their partner, receives child care payments from the Government for a session of Family Day Care provided to their child on the same day that they themselves provide Family Day Care for another child.
From 1 January 2016, in order for parents to receive Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate all children under 20 must be immunised in accordance with the National Immunisation Program early childhood schedule, be on a recognised catch-up schedule or have an approved medical exemption.
Changes to Family Assistance Law
On 11 September 2016, the Minister for Education and Training announced changes to the Family Assistance Law affecting the child care payments Compliance Framework.
On 27 February 2017, the Minister for Education and Training announced further changes to the Family Assistance Law affecting approved Family Day Care services.