Struggling families offered childcare cash option

The Gillard government has confirmed plans to give families the option of receiving childcare rebate payments fortnightly from July 1st next year in order to ease the cost of living.

Speaking in Perth today (July 9th), prime minister Julia Gillard said parents would be able to access the 50 per cent rebate at the time they have to pay childcare fees, the AAP reported.

She added that the move would assist "those families who find it hard to balance the budget while waiting for a rebate".

In addition, the plans mean that families will have the option to choose whether or not they have their rebate paid directly to their childcare service and receive an immediate fortnightly fee reduction, or continue to receive the rebate directly, the AAP said.

Rising financial pressures have prompted more households to tighten their belts and compare debit cards in search of safer spending options. Ms Gillard said that under the reforms, the costs for a family earning $80,000 with one child in full-time care would fall from $220 per week until they receive the rebate at the end of each quarter to $110 per week.

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