Plan may ease childcare woes
■ 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.