The Australian Government will provide support to families who struggle to access flexible and affordable child care services when working, studying or looking for work by establishing a $246 million pilot programme to extend subsidy support to in home care services provided by nannies.
From 1 January 2016, the Nanny Pilot Programme will provide $246 million over two years, to subsidise the cost of child care for over 10,000 children delivered in the family home by approximately 4,000 nannies. Care will be subsidised for up to 50 hours per child per week.
The pilot programme is designed to help key workers, such as nurses, police officers, ambulance officers and fire fighters, as well as other shift workers, who are too often unable to access child care and experience difficulties accessing mainstream child care.
Families will receive a percentage of the fixed hourly rate of $7.00 per hour per child, for a maximum of 50 hours per week. Families earning up to $60,000, will receive 85 per cent (of the hourly fee cap), the level of subsidy will taper to 50 per cent for families earning up to and above $165,000 . Families on incomes above $250,000 will not be eligible for subsidies under the nanny pilot programme.
The subsidy will be paid directly to services which will be passed on to families as a fee reduction. This will assist the family budget and make using a nanny a more affordable care option for participating families.
Families who meet the programme guidelines will be eligible to apply to the Department of Social Services to participate in the pilot. Detailed programme guidelines will be released later this year which will outline how the programme will operate.
Following the initial determination of families to be included in the programme, the Department will maintain a register of eligible families to fill any places that may become available during the two year pilot programme.
Nannies must be 18 years of age or older, they will need to be attached to a service provider, hold a Working with Children Check and a first aid qualification. Nannies will need to be connected to an approved service provider.
The pilot programme will be delivered through approved service providers in each state and territory to ensure nannies and families have the support they need during the pilot programme. Services will be responsible for finding suitable nannies for successful families.
Providers participating in the pilot will be required to assist the Commonwealth in gathering information and data which will inform the programme’s evaluation in 2017.
The Nannies Pilot Programme will end in December 2017. Throughout 2017, an evaluation will be undertaken in order to inform future Government policy regarding nannies.
Further information and programme guidelines which will be released in the second half of 2015, will be available from the Department of Social Services website at www.dss.gov.au