The Families Package is summed up on The Government's Budget website:
"The 2015 Budget delivers on the Government’s commitment to support families by making child care simpler, more affordable, accessible and flexible. The Government is delivering a $4.4 billion Families Package to give parents more choice and opportunity to work. The Families Package will provide greater choice for more than 1.2 million families by delivering more affordable access to quality child care and early childhood learning, especially for low‑to‑middle income families."
But who really are the winning and losing families of the 2015 Budget?
From July 1 2017, parents can access the Child Care Subsidy, a single benefit – based on family income and replacing several other benefits – that will contribute a percentage of the overall childcare fee parents pay. This will be paid directly to the childcare providers, to minimise upfront expenses for parents.
Families earning $65,000 or less will get 85 per cent of their fees subsidised. That subsidy will reduce to 50 per cent for families earning $170,000 or more.
Shift workers and people in rural areas will also benefit, with access to a $246 million pilot program to subsidise the cost of nannies - The Nanny Trial
Preschoolers and their parents will benefit from an $843 million kitty in 2016 and 2017 for preschool programs. The initiative is designed to provide universal access to preschool for up to 15 hours a week or for 600 hours a year.
Stay at home parents
As part of the Government's plan to get mothers back into the workforce, stay-at-home parents whose household income is more than $65,000 will lose all childcare subsidies.
Expectant mothers will no longer be able to claim both the government’s paid parental leave scheme and an employer paid parental leave scheme. Those with schemes that are more generous than the federal scheme will not be eligible for any payment, while those with schemes less generous will only be able to access the gap between the two. This is the Government's policy to stamp out the 'Double Dippers' as Mr Hockey calls them.
Families will lose the Family Tax Benefit A large family supplement. I know as a family with four children, this equates to roughly $1 per fortnight.
Families who choose not to immunise their children will no longer qualify for family and childcare benefits.
How does your family stack-up. Will you be better off with the new changes?