Author Topic: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs  (Read 945 times)

parkette

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Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« on: August 28, 2018, 08:52:36 AM »
Hello beautiful Aussies :)

My family and I will be moving to Melbourne in mid-October. My husband is Melburnian and we've lived/visited there off and on over the last 8 years. This time we're planning to be there until roughly June 2020. We have 3-year old twin boys.

We're planning on taking our time to settle in. I may work, I may not. It will be tight financially, but the beauty of working toward FIRE is that we have enough of a cushion for me to take a couple of years off and it will be fine. Part-time work would be great as we could likely share childcare that way, but also raises the possibility that my husband and I will lose out on a lot of time together.

I'm wondering if it is worth pursuing any interesting full-time job possibilities. I hadn't really considered it as childcare costs seem prohibitive. A quick internet search showed $90-$120/day in our suburb- we currently pay $27/day!! But, I feel like I'm missing something.

Are there subsidies? Would we be eligible? How do they work? Am I way off on costs?

Any insight you have would be very helpful!

onlykelsey

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2018, 08:55:48 AM »
I am not the most qualified person but several people have mentioned to me that to be eligible for certain subsidies, you have to prove your kids are up to date on vaccines.  I would check out what the Australian schedule is because it may differ slightly from Canada's, so you can be prepared.

parkette

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 08:58:35 AM »
Thank you, that's great advice. We are enrolling them in 4-year kinder to begin in Feb so that's on my radar, but I should do a comparison now to be sure.

okonomiyaki

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 03:37:20 PM »
You should also do your research about what preschools (as opposed to daycare programs) are available in the area where youíll live. These can be substantially cheaper than daycare per se, and also have a lot more school readiness/actual learning focus than a traditional daycare (some daycares do this, but some donít, whereas for the preschool thatís the whole point).

Iím not going to give you prices, since Iím in the horror that is Sydney, so everywhere will be cheaper than here.

You say your husband is Melburnian, I think (?) heíd then be eligible to apply for centerlink subsidies for childcare, albeit heíd have to state heís the primary carer. These can vary from ~50% depending on income.

Also - Queen Vic markets :) frugal heaven :)

parkette

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2018, 07:18:38 PM »
Thank you for the tip about stating he's primary carer.

For centrelink subsidies... how do these get paid out? Do they go direct to childcare, or is it something you'd receive after filing income tax?

We have the boys enrolled in a 4-year kinder for Feb and very happy they let us enroll prior to arriving in Oz!

I'm very excited to discover all the frugal heavens out there :) We're in the south east and not super close to Queen Vic, but we'll seek out some around us!

HappierAtHome

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 07:22:19 PM »
Paging @GT

GT

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2018, 03:25:47 AM »
Paged.

When we moved to Melbourne from Brisbane in September last year we got caught out.  We'd planned on me looking after our two girls (4 and 11 months at the time) full time, but found we had to send kid #1 to Kinder prior to primary school.  While that wasn't in the semi FIRE budget we live on we made it work.  Our childcare centre has a government approved kinder program, so we get a 55% subsidy under the new system that started July 1st from the government, which reduces the costs of $127 a day down a bit.  So as the local childcare (350m away) had kinder we sent kid #1 to it two days a week (which was their minimum allowable number of days) for childcare to guarantee her kinder spot.  We still only go for two days a week to meet the 15hrs a week required of the kinder program and she's home with me and kid #2 the rest of the time.

Centrelink pays the subsidy straight to the childcare centre.  And up to date vaccines are required, so if you have anything in writing from the Canadian government, you'll need to provide it.  Medicare has a record of vaccines given in Australia, so using the MyGov website linked it directly to Centrelink for us.

When you say south east, inner 10km, or further out?  North or south of the M1?  We're in Preston, a couple of sisters live nearby us and I have a brother out at Narre Warren.

nonsequitur

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2018, 04:40:42 AM »
The Federal government subsidizes childcare in approved centres, generally at a rate of around 50% up to certain number of hours of child care per week, plus an annual per child $ limit, which depends on household income.  We get the 50% level and wonít reach our limit this year, as the youngest is only in daycare half time.  To be eligible, you need to meet the basic requirements for Centrelink eligibility, which would depend on your residency/visa status, and you also need to meet the work/study test.  You only get the subsidy if youíre working or studying a minimum number of hours per week.  Volunteering counts. 

parkette

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2018, 05:48:26 PM »
This is super helpful- thank you GT and nonsequitur!

I'm a permanent resident, but because we'll be recent arrivals I'm pretty sure I'm not eligible. My husband, as a citizen, should be though so we'll have to see how that might work through him. This is all pretty theoretical, but it's opened up the conversation about what combination of him/me full-time/part-time/school/home etc would be workable for us. It's all on the table!

We'll be in Seaford so I guess further out, south of the M1? (I think I'm accurate in saying that's south east... correct me if I'm wrong please!)


GT

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Re: Australians- please help me better understand childcare costs
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2018, 02:54:51 AM »
Grasp hard on it being Seaford and not Franga. ;)