Federal Budget 2015: Good news for childcare, not so good for parental leave

The federal budget announced on Tuesday had some good news for parents with young children, but it is sure to disappoint couples expecting a child.        

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The government announced that it will set aside $3.5 billion towards childcare over five years. According to the new system, which will begin from July 1 2017, parents will be able to access the childcare subsidy based on family income. This means that families earning $65,000 or less will get 85% of their fee subsidised. Whereas for high income families (earning $170,000 or more) the subsidy will be capped at 50%.  

The move aims to encourage parents to go back to work, so the number of childcare hours subsidised will be a factor of the amount of time parents spend working, studying or volunteering.

On the downside, new parents will no longer get the advantage of ‘double-dipping’ by taking money from their employer as well as the government. So, if you can access maternity leave schemes at your workplace, you will no longer be allowed to avail the Federal Government’s policy.

According to the previous plan, new mums were entitled to 18 weeks of pay at minimum wage, or about $11,500, in addition to payments made by their employer.


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