Child Care Benefit and Professional Support Coordinator

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Child Care Benefit

The Commonwealth Government provides Child Care Benefit to offset the cost of childcare for families using approved or registered care. Eligible families can receive some form of child care benefit. Approved care and registered care attract different rates of Child Care Benefit.

"Registered care” is care for work related purposes that is provided by grandparents, relatives, friends or nannies who are registered as carers with the Family Assistance Office. Registered care may also be provided by individuals in kindergartens, some outside school hours care services and some occasional care services. Carers or teachers in these services must be registered with the Family Assistance Office.

"Approved child care” is care provided by a service provider that participates satisfactorily in the Australian Government funded quality assurance system and has been approved to receive Child Care Benefit payments on behalf of eligible families. Most long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care, some occasional care and some in home care services are approved child care providers.

Further information is available in the Child Care Service Handbook 2012-13. In addition, the Child Care Access Hotline, 1800 670 305 provides information about approved child care services and vacanci/childhood/providers/edcare/Pages/childcarebenefit.aspxes in local areas.

The Commonwealth Family Assistance Office makes the payment and can supply you with the relevant information. You should also contact the Commonwealth Family Assistance Office if you wish to become a registered or approved carer.

To contact the Family Assistance Office call: 13 61 50 or see Family Assistance

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Professional support coordinator

The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations funds agencies in each state to provide education and care services approved for Child Care Benefit with professional support in operating their service. These agencies are known as professional support coordinators (PSC) and provide training, support and advice in all aspects of operating an education and care service.

Gowrie Victoria has been appointed as the PSC for Victoria to provide support to eligible services. Contact details for Gowrie Victoria are available at the Gowrie Victoria website.

Preschools (kindergartens)

Training, support and advice for preschools (kindergartens) is available from& Early Learning Association Australia (previously Kindergarten Parents Victoria).