THE CHILD Care Subsidy has been largely louded as confusing, but one Tamworth childcare centre is doing things differently.
G8 Education has launched a new flexible hours model at Nurture One, offering nine, ten and full day options with one flat fee.
Elsie McKenzie moved her child Xavier to the centre and said its allowed the family more financial stability.
“I thought it was great, we knew we would be saving money doing five days a week and we wouldn’t hit our cap – we knew we wouldn’t be out of pocket and paying nearly $1000 a fortnight in childcare fees,” she said.
“It means we don’t hit our 100 hours a fortnight cap, so instead of paying full fees we pay the same about each week and save around $60, I’ll take that.”
The flexible hours mean families are no longer limited by start and finish times, there are no conditions around the minimum days parents can access and no penalties if families stay later.
There are no conditions around the minimum amount of flexible sessions families can use, and where possible out of pocket child care expenses will be backdated.
G8 Education managing director Gary Carroll said the model is fair and transparent.
“We know that with the difficult transition many of our families have been hurting financially and we are committed where possible to backdate flexible hours to support them to only pay for the hours they have used,” he said.
“We want to give families the freedom to choose which hours best suit their situation to help decrease their out of pocket early learning expenses and maximise their subsidised hours.
“There is quite a lot of complexity to the new funding structure and we didn’t want to add to it by having varying pricing levels or an associated fee increase depending on which hours families chose.”
Ms McKenzie said the extra money in her pocket goes a long way, especially since she was paying up to $100 a day under the old model.
“It means we can go out and do things as a family without being strapped for cash, I’ve got $60 I can put away for a holiday rather than sitting at home hanging out,” she said.
“It gives you the freedom to be able to put money away, it means you don’t hit your limit so you aren’t out of pocket.
“It means you can budget better, so families can get better use of their money and their rebate.”