Plan may ease child­care woes

Pilbara News - - News - Peter de Krui­jff

■ Au pairs could be in­cluded in the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s $246 mil­lion na­tion­wide Nanny Pi­lot Pro­gramme in a re­prieve for fam­i­lies liv­ing in re­mote ar­eas where it can be hard to at­tract child car­ers.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Du­rack Melissa Price said au pairs would be in­cluded in the pro­gram if the suc­cess­ful ser­vice provider for the ten­der in­cluded them in their ser­vices.

“Both par­ents and ser­vice providers must qual­ify for cer­tain cat­e­gories and meet se­lec­tion cri­te­ria to par­tic­i­pate in the Nanny Pi­lot Pro­gramme,” she said.

“If a fam­ily al­ready has a nanny, and they are se­lected to par­tic­i­pate in the pi­lot, then it is pos­si­ble for them to keep the same nanny so long as he or she is ei­ther em­ployed or con­tracted by the ser­vice provider con­tracted by the Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing to de­liver the pi­lot in 2016.

“The depart­ment will se­lect the ser­vice provider for a par­tic­u­lar area and give them a list of fam­i­lies for whom they must pro­vide a nanny.”

Pil­bara fam­i­lies have un­til Oc­to­ber 30 to sign up and be con­sid­ered for the two-year pro­gram, which will run un­til the end of 2017.

Par­ents who work odd hours, live in a re­mote lo­ca­tion, and have dif­fi­culty ac­cess­ing child­care will have pri­or­ity.

Fam­i­lies earn­ing up to $60,000 a year will be el­i­gi­ble for 85 per cent of the hourly fee cap, while those earn­ing be­tween $165,000 and $250,000 a year will be el­i­gi­ble for 50 per cent.

How­ever, fam­i­lies earn­ing $250,000 or more a year will not be el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in the pro­gram.

This could make it hard for some fam­i­lies in the Pil­bara who earn big dol­lars but can­not get their chil­dren into child­care.

Ac­cord­ing to 2011 Cen­sus data, the weekly house­hold in­come in Tom Price, where day­care cen­tres are regularly at ca­pac­ity, was $2836, which trans­lates to $147,472 a year.

In 2011 there were 1206 men and 143 women in Ash­bur­ton earn­ing $104,000 or more an­nu­ally.

This group col­lec­tively made up 41 per cent of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment area’s wage earn­ers.

In the City of Kar­ratha the fig­ure was 3269 men and 507 women earn­ing the same amount or 33 per cent of wage earn­ers.

These fig­ures do not take into ac­count the 1652 peo­ple in Kar­ratha and the 376 in Ash­bur­ton mak­ing be­tween $78,000 and $104,000 a year.

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