Parents Missing Out On Child Care Rebate Due To Confusion Over Eligibility

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4th August 2009, 03:04pm - Views: 1174





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PRESS RELEASE: 4 August 2009. 

CHILD CARE REBATE: 22 PER CENT OF ELIGIBLE WORKING FAMILIES

POTENTIALLY MISSING OUT DUE TO APATHY AND CONFUSION OVER

ELIGIBILITY 

A poll by CareforKids.com.au, the country’s leading online child care

search service, has revealed 22 per cent of working families who meet the

Child Care Rebate criteria are missing out on up to $7778 per child per

year, either over confusion over eligibility due to income thresholds or

because they simply haven’t got around to being assessed.  The poll results

are highlighted in the August issue of CareforKids.com.au online newsletter. 

The poll was conducted online with the CareforKids.com.au membership of

predominantly working parents and asked them questions on their

understanding of eligibility of Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate

(formerly Child Care Tax Rebate). 

CareforKids.com.au spokesperson, Sophie Cross, said they had a suspicion

that thousands of working families with children in approved child care may

well be missing out on the rebate after the CareforKids.com.au annual child

care survey results in April showed confusion over Child Care Benefit and

Rebate following the changes in January 09: 

“There was such confusion over the difference between Child Care Benefit

and the Child Care Rebate, said Sophie Cross. Parents just didn’t, and still

don’t understand that although the Benefit is means tested, the Rebate

isn’t, so as long as families meet the basic requirements for residency, work

or study and approved care, they are eligible for Child Care Rebate”.   

The results of the poll conducted on 185 parents confirmed their suspicions:  

Only 43 per cent of parents questioned said they were eligible for child

care benefit.  

29 per cent said they were not eligible and 27 per cent didn’t know if they

were or not. However, 37 per cent had not been assessed either way by

Centrelink/Family Assistance to establish whether they were or were not

eligible, so a potential additional 10 per cent may well think they’re not

eligible when in fact they are!  

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Of those who had not been assessed by Family Assistance, 40 per cent said

they hadn’t been because they were not eligible due to family income

levels and 35 per cent because they had been too busy to go or hadn’t

got around to it yet… 


“When we outlined the requirements for Child Care Rebate (which IS NOT

means tested, as opposed to the Child Care Benefit, which is), said Cross, a

huge 58 per cent of parents who had not been assessed, had no idea that

even if they are not eligible for Child Care Benefit (due to income

threshold), but meet residency requirements, have a child/ren in approved

child care and have worked or had work related or study commitments at

some time during the tax period, they ARE eligible for the 50 per cent Child

Care Rebate”. 


In the final poll question, 66 per cent of parents not claiming child care

benefit or rebate said that now they understood the difference between

Benefit and Rebate, they were definitely missing out on the child care

rebate – up to $7778 per child per year. 


This figure therefore represents 22 per cent of the total number of parents

who took the poll, which means that at least 22 per cent of working parents

are therefore missing out on at least $7778 per year, either because they

think it’s means tested or they haven’t got around to being assessed. 


“This is particularly worrying considering our members are pretty proactive

and interactive with us on child care issues, said Cross, so you can only

imagine that the numbers may realistically be even higher than this”. 


ABOUT CAREFORKIDS.COM.AU


Now with over 35,000 members, 65,000 monthly visitors to the site and over

12,000 registered child care providers on the database, CareforKids.com.au

is providing

a vital role in assisting parents to find the child care they need

and for providers to build and market their businesses. Last year alone over

800,000 parents visited CareforKids.com.au.


The online service also has an extensive Corporate Program, providing child

care assistance to employees of large institutions including Macquarie

Bank, Telstra, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Goldman Sachs JBWere,

Optus, NRMA, IAG and Coca-Cola Amatil. 


ENDS


NOTES TO EDITOR


For more information or comment please contact Sophie Cross at PR Chicks

on 0421 996810 or email sophie@prchicks.com.au 







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