The Defence Child Care Program facilitates access to child care for Defence families in their new posting locality, when the local community is unable to meet demand.
The Program facilitates access to centre based, family day care and outside school hours care for Defence members and their families. The Program currently operates a number of Long Day Care Centres and three Out of School Hours facilities which are managed on behalf of Defence under contract by Mission Australia Early Learning Services (MAELS). There is also a child care at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne managed by an independent management committee that offers priority to Defence members.
CHILDCARE CENTRE CLOSURES
Parents need to be aware that a transitional plan to close childcare centres at RAAF Bases Amberley, Darwin and Williamtown is now underway. Defence says this decision follows an emerging body of international research that suggests children may be more sensitive to noise exposure than adults.
The RAAF Base Darwin childcare centre has already closed, and the closures of RAAF Bases Amberley and Williamtown are being managed in consultation with affected base staff and childcare centre operators.
Support will be provided to facilitate new childcare arrangements and minimise disruption to the families who are clients of these centres.
Salary Packaging of Child Care
Under the Defence Flexible Remuneration Packaging Scheme, Defence members are able to package their child care fees at employer sponsored child care centres. This includes all Defence Child Care Centres and other eligible Commonwealth Employer Sponsored Child Care Centres.
Salary packaging can be arranged between Defence and the Member, where you agree to forego part of your future entitlement to salary or wages, in return for a benefit in the form of child care to the same monetary value of the salary you would receive. The combined total of salary or wages and the benefit must not exceed the total of your normal salary.
When you ask Defence to pay for your child care as part of your salary package, you are choosing to forego all entitlement to Child Care Benefit (CCB) and the Child Care Tax Rebate. To be eligible for CCB, you or your partner must be liable to pay for the child care.
If you salary package the cost of child care fees, this means that Defence as the employer is liable for the cost of all child care fees that are paid under salary packaging arrangements, so Defence (not you) has the legal liability to pay the fees.
You must choose between either salary packaging OR receiving CCB and the Child Care Tax Rebate. Salary packaging is not beneficial for many families and it is very important that you understand the relative benefits of salary packaging against claiming CCB and the Child Care Tax Rebate.