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Aussies divided over Centrelink childcare subsidy: ‘I did not know this’

An Aussie mum vented her anger after being on the phone with Centrelink for more than two and a half hours.

A composite image of TikToker and mum Alison Harys one image of her and the other from her TikTok taking about being stuck on the phone since Centrelink.
An Aussie mum sparked debate after complaining about accessing Centrelink's childcare subsidy. (Source: Instagram @alisonbutijer / TikTok @alisonbutijer)

An Aussie mum has spoken of her frustration after spending more than two and a half hours on the phone with Centrelink because of changes to the childcare subsidy rate her family was eligible for.

The mum took to TikTok to complain that childcare costs for her second child tripled when her first child reached six years of age.

“I did not know this, but if you’re a parent of two or more kids and your first child turns six, then they get the bare minimum childcare subsidy, which then affects the rest of your children,” the mum said.

“So, even though our household income is not changing, my daughter who is in day care for another two years, the cost of sending her is tripling. Make that make sense.”

Users hit the comments section to explain why the childcare costs for a second child may have gone up.

“Second child under the age of 5 automatically get 95 per cent subsidy, so once the oldest turns 6 then that rule wouldn’t apply anymore,” one user said.

“Is it because you’re no longer paying 2x childcare fees? Just 1? And technically school is “free” if u [sic] access state system. Does that make sense?” another said.

How does the childcare subsidy work?

The federal government brought in additional childcare subsidies in March 2022, which allowed families with two or more children under the age of six to receive an additional subsidy.

So, for one child in care, you can get a 50 per cent subsidy but if you have two in care, the second child will receive a subsidy of up to 95 per cent.

Around 250,000 families in Australia have two or more children in care.

From July 2023, childcare subsidy rates will increase up to 90 per cent for eligible families earning less than $530,000.

Currently, the subsidy stops once a family reaches the $356,756 income mark. Families will continue to receive existing higher subsidy rates of up to 95 per cent for additional children in care aged 5 and under.

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