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Cheaper child care provides families with more options: Plibersek

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Families with more than one child in care will see their out-of-pocket costs ease from this week.

A federal government boost to child care support will allow people to access a maximum 95% subsidy on costs for second and subsequent children. 

About 250,000 families will benefit from the increase to the child care subsidy and will save $2260 a year, Education Minister Stuart Robert said.

He said a family earning $120,000 a year with two children in care five days a week will save $144 per week compared to current settings. 

A family earning $40,000 a year with two children in care will be $54 better off per week.  

But, Labor spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth says three quarters of families will get no extra help from the government’s subsidy changes. 

She says Labor would ensure the majority of families get support no matter how many children they have in care. 

“Labor has a plan that will boost workforce productivity, it will boost the economy and deliver in spades,” she stated.

The government brought forward its subsidy increase from 1 July to 7 March.

The CCS was first introduced in 2018 as a means-tested subsidy to ensure families who earn the least have the most support. 

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the subsidy increase would support low and middle income families. 

“Today’s changes in relation to child care are very focused, making sure families in Australia who have large out-of-pocket expenses, those that are low and middle-income income earners … will be the families that are targeted by these changes,” she explained.

Families will not need to apply for the increased subsidy as Services Australia will automatically authorise the additional funds to flow to eligible households.

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek, who visited Newcastle on Monday, says Labor’s child care policy would see 97% of families who are using the system at the moment financially better off.

“It shouldn’t be the government saying ‘you can’t afford to work extra days or we’re going to take money away from you’ that is making the decision for (families),” she told reporters in the Hunter Valley.

“We want to help families make the choices that are best for them and cheaper child care gives families the option to do more days a week at work if they want to.” 

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