Par­ents fail to sign up

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - ANNIKA SMETHURST

CHILD­CARE providers fear they will miss out on lu­cra­tive gov­ern­ment pay­ments when the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s long-awaited child­care over­haul kicks in next month be­cause thou­sands of fam­i­lies haven’t signed up.

With just over three weeks un­til the changes to the re­bate sys­tem be­gin, about 350,000 fam­i­lies still haven’t reg­is­tered for gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies.

While fam­i­lies will be given a three-month grace pe­riod be­fore their pay­ments are cut off, child­care providers won’t be paid by the gov­ern­ment un­til fam­i­lies sign up.

Child­care worker Kate, who co­or­di­nates a be­fore and af­ter­school care ser­vice in sub­ur­ban Melbourne, said only 70 of the 330 stu­dents on her books are en­rolled in the new sys­tem.

She said the new sys­tem has been a “night­mare” with about 90 per cent of her work­ing week ded­i­cated to the tran­si­tion process.

Thou­sands of child­care cen­tres across the coun­try re­ceived an email last week from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment warn­ing that only two-thirds of cen­tres had suc­cess­fully trans­ferred to the new sys­tem.

The email con­firmed that the new Child Care Subsidy “will not be paid to ser­vices who have not com­pleted their tran­si­tion process”.

But Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham said there had been an in­flux of cen­tres tran­si­tion in the past month.

He said the Gov­ern­ment was per­son­ally ring­ing those cen­tres that have not made the switch to en­sure ev­ery eli­gi­ble child­care provider made the switch be­fore July 2.

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