Maternity leave and the new Child Care Subsidy
Preparing to embark on maternity or paternity leave can be an exciting and sometimes daunting time for parents.
Forms, estimated dates and now changes to the government’s Child Care Subsidy means there is a lot to consider and prepare.
One less worry for expectant mothers on maternity leave is that they may still be eligible for assistance under the new Child Care Subsidy.
In fact, if paid or unpaid parental leave is a condition of your employment, you will still receive the new Child Care Subsidy
A Brisbane family’s story
Brisbane mother of two, Kirsty Claassen was relieved to learn her family would still receive a subsidy for her daughter Daisy, 4, to attend an early learning service for three days, while she remains at home caring for her baby Annie, who is four months old.
“Being able to keep Daisy in care for three days a week, and in fact we will be increasing her to four days a week as we get further into the year, will really afford me the time to focus on the baby and spend quality time together while she’s still so little,” she said.
“It is also great that Daisy will still have the opportunity to continue to have access to early learning, especially as she starts school next year,and build her social skills and further extend on the learning and fun things we do at home.”
In preparation for the Child Care Subsidy, which started on 2 July 2018, Kirsty said she had used the Goodstart Estimator
and had mapped out changes to her family situation and activity levels, which she would update within her myGov account.
“Within the coming year we will have a lot of changes, including me starting to study while I’m still on maternity leave, and returning to work, as well as our baby starting child care and my older daughter starting school,” she said.
So how does the new subsidy affect someone on maternity leave?
The good news is, it won’t! As long as paid or unpaid parental leave is a condition of your employment.
The hours of activity will be the same as they were immediately prior to you starting parental leave.
So, if you were working full time then you are still considered to be a full time employee while you are on parental leave.
Also, there is no time limit on the amount of time you can be on unpaid parental leave but there is an expectation that you will be returning to work at some point as a condition of your employment.
Just remember to update your activity, which is paid or unpaid parental leave, via your myGov account, or with Centrelink.
Find more information about transitioning to the government’s new subsidy here