The Australian Government is establishing a new $246 million pilot programme to extend subsidies to nanny home care services to support families to access affordable child care services.
Melissa Price, Federal Member for Durack said subsidised care will be provided to about 10,000 children through this national pilot programme, especially in middle to low income families.
“A major focus of the pilot programme will be on services in rural and regional areas – and that fits Durack like a glove – child care, with aged care are priorities in Durack,” Ms Price said.
“This two year Interim Home Based Carer Subsidy Programme represents the first major tranche of the government’s new child care package which will ensure child care is more accessible, flexible and affordable and better meets the needs of modern families to be in work,” Ms Price said.
“The Federal Government understands many families in work and wanting to work find it difficult to access child care. Workers in Durack, from Kununurra to Carnarvon and Moora, such as nurses, police, ambulance officers and shift workers are too often unable to access care or take advantage of government support due to the hours they work.
“The same often applies for families in rural and remote areas and those who have children with special needs, for whom mainstream child care services can be inaccessible, lack the necessary flexibility, or do not cater for specific needs.
“The two year pilot, commencing in January 2016, will determine whether a sustainable programme can affordably be put in place for in-home care nanny services.
“The government will be working with employee organisations such as police associations, and key stakeholders to both establish the programme and identify participants.
Government assistance will be provided through an hourly subsidy per child towards the cost of using a nanny. The subsidy will be paid directly to services and will be adjusted according to family income, consistent with the broader child care subsidy model soon to be announced,” Ms Price said.
“The Productivity Commission Report into Childcare and Early Childhood Learning recommended nannies be an eligible service for government assistance to families. This has been reinforced to the government through our targeted consultation process.
“Nannies are not meant to replace mainstream services however families need to be able to choose the care type that suits them best, including using nannies in addition to other forms of child care.
“Durack families with young children will receive more support to help them get work and stay in work as further initiatives under the Government’s families package are released in the coming weeks,” Ms Price said.
More information about the Interim Home Based Carer Subsidy Programme will be available on the Department of Social Services website at www.dss.gov.au