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14.5.1 Child Care
A delegate may approve child care support under the Acute Support Package (the Package) for a family where this is an identified need through their agreed support plan (see 14.8 Support Plan). Families may access support for the following types of child care:
- home-based care;
- centre-based care;
- family day care;
- occasional care;
- outside-school-hours care;
- holiday care;
- respite care on nights and weekends.
The type of child care support approved will depend on the individual circumstances of the family and their wellbeing goals as outlined in their support plan. For example, a widowed partner adjusting to life after the death of their veteran may have a greater need for respite care on nights and weekends than other forms of child care such as centre-based care.
Families are not limited to one form of child care. A delegate may approve a mix if this meets their wellbeing needs. As with other supports through the Package, the key consideration is whether the support will mitigate the life factors the family is experiencing or help the family better function.
Who can provide child care?
DVA can only pay child care support under the Package to approved child care providers who meet relevant Commonwealth and state and territory standards. These include providers:
- covered under the A New Tax System (Family Assistance) (Administration) Act 1999
- registered under the National Disability Insurance Scheme Act 2013.
You can search for providers on the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority’s Starting Blocks website and on the National Disability Insurance Scheme’s website.
Families can access an annual amount for child care support for each eligible child they have until the child reaches high school. This amount depends on whether the child is under primary school age or in primary school.
A child is of high school age but still attending primary school – can support be paid?
Yes, where there is a genuine reason for the child being held back – e.g. a child with a disability or difficulties socialising. This equally applies where the child is held back from commencing primary school. If there is a genuine reason as assessed by the delegate, the parent can continue to receive the under primary school age amount.
If you are unsure, please email email@example.com.
Can a veteran or their partner access child care support for a grandchild/nephew/niece of the veteran who is in their primary care?
Yes, if they are in the position of a parent to the child, then, provided other eligibility requirements are satisfied, they can receive support for the child.
To determine whether the person is in the position of a parent, consideration should be given to any documented care arrangements such as court orders, child support agency arrangements, statutory declarations, and whether the person is eligible to receive Family Tax Benefit from Services Australia.
Can the former partner of a veteran access child care support for a child of the veteran?
Yes, if the former partner has primary care of the child, or a shared care arrangement with the veteran, then they can receive support for the child, provided other eligibility requirements are satisfied. However, care will need to be taken regarding shared care arrangements to ensure there are no privacy breaches or duplication of funding.
The Acute Support Package legislation does not require a child to be fully immunised for child care support to be paid. However, it does require child care be provided by a Commonwealth-approved child care provider.
Most Commonwealth-approved child care providers require children in attendance to be fully vaccinated or have a medical exemption in line with state and territory legislation. Several states have in place ‘No Jab, No Play’ legislation, which means that even if a child meets requirements under the Acute Support Package, they would not be able to receive child care unless fully vaccinated, in receipt of a medical exemption, or on an approved vaccination ‘catch‑up’ program.
If a person accessing the Acute Support Package can find an approved child care provider who does not require full immunisation, in a state or territory where immunisation requirements are not imposed, funding could be provided through the Acute Support Package.