This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
Child Care Payments (Consequential Amendments and
Transitional Provisions) Bill 1997
Date Introduced: 28 August 1997
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Health and Family Services
Commencement: The transitional arrangements
commence when the Child Care Payments Act 1997 commences.
For details of the commencement of the consequential amendments,
see the following Main Provisions - Consequential Amendments
section of this Digest.
To repeal the Child Care Rebate Act 1993 and amend
other Acts necessary to implement the new child care arrangements
proposed by the Child Care Payments Bill 1997.To provide
transitional arrangements between existing child care payments and
the new scheme.
The Child Care Payments Bill 1997 was introduced in the House of
Representatives on 26 June 1997.It provides for a system of
approved child care services and simplifies the paperwork
associated with child care by using the Commonwealth Services
Delivery Agency to process all applications and payments.It also
increases the threshold for the assets test, introduces a cap of 20
hours for parents who are not working, training or studying, and
seeks to limit the number of new places so as to distribute child
care facilities where they are most needed.
For a comprehensive analysis of the Child Care Payments Bill
1997 the reader is referred to Bills Digest No. 21,
The effect of clause 5 is to continue operation
of the current child care subsidies until the 'payment commencement
day' which is a day to be fixed by Proclamation under clause 12 of
the Child Care Payments Bill 1997.Subclause 5(2)
allows people a period of 21 weeks after the 'payment commencement
day' to lodge claims for child care already provided.
Clause 6 enables the Secretary to make
determinations regarding existing child care services or centres
about whether they are approved under the Child Care Payments
Act 1997.These determinations operate for a period of up to 12
months from the 'payment commencement date' (Subclause
Clause 7 enables the Secretary to make
determinations regarding the existing registration of carers about
whether they are registered under the Child Care Payments Act
1997.Such determinations can only be made for a period of up
to six months after the 'payment commencement day'.
Clause 8 provides exemption, subject to the
Secretary's approval, from the new planning controls for a child
care operator who had already taken action to build or extend a
long day care centre before the limits on location were announced
in the 1997 Budget (13 May 1997).To be eligible for this exemption,
operators would need to have completed the building or extension by
30 September 1998.
Clause 9 provides exemption from the new, lower
rate of Child Care Assistance for children who are attending school
and already using a long day care centre or family day care service
for outside school hours care.The new rate will have a ceiling of
$1.95 per hour.School age children already in centres and family
day care will retain their current entitlements of up to the
current ceiling of $2.30 per hour (or $3.05 per hour for
non-standard family day care hours) while they continue to use the
Clause 10 provides arrangements for children
who are receiving special child care assistance immediately before
the 'payment commencement day' to continue to receive additional
assistance, subject to the Secretary's approval, for the first 4
weeks of the new scheme.
Clause 12 enables regulations to be made to
manage other transitional arrangements from the current child care
payments scheme to the new scheme.
All the consequential amendments to other legislation are
included in Schedule 1.
Item 8 repeals the Childcare Rebate Act
Items 1-4 amend the Child Care Act
1972 by removing a number of definitions which had been added
to it by the 1993 legislation which is now repealed.Item
7 repeals references to fee relief in the Child Care
Act 1972.From 1 January 1998 Child Care Assistance and Child
Care Cash Rebate will be paid as a parent entitlement, rather than
as a grant to services.Payment will be administered by the new
Commonwealth Service Rebate Agency under the Child Care
Payments Act 1997(2).
Items 1-8 of Schedule 1 are to
commence on the day that is the 'payment commencement day' for the
purposes of the Child Care Payments Act 1997.
Items 9 and 10 amend the Data-matching
Program (Assistance and Tax) Act 1990 to ensure that the new
child care fee subsidies are included in the definition of
'personal assistance' for the purposes of data matching.These items
will commence on the 'payment commencement day' unless the
subparagraphs 3(1)(c) (xxivd) and (xxive), which refer to Child
Care Assistance and fee relief under the old scheme, have been
repealed earlier by another Act.
Item 17 amends paragraph 16(4)(fa) of the
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to reflect the transfer of
administrative responsibility for the registration of child care
rebate services from the Health Insurance Commission to the
Department of Health and Family Services.This subsection of the
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 provides for certain
persons being authorised to receive information from the
Commissioner of Taxation for certain specific purposes.
Items 18-21 provide that Child Care Assistance
and the Child Care Rebate are exempt from income tax.The effect of
Item 18 is to ensure that neither of these
payments is included in the calculations of a taxpayer's
dependant's 'separate net income' for the purposes of certain tax
Items 17-21 commence on the commencement of the
Child Care Payments Act 1997.
Items 22-43 amend the Social Security Act
1991.The effect of Items 23, 24, 28-40, 42 and
43 is to amend various subsections of the Social
Security Act 1991 in order to include decisions about child
care payments in the appeal mechanisms of the Social Security
Appeals Tribunal (SSAT).Access to the review and appeal mechanisms
of the SSAT is introduced by Chapter 9 of the Child Care Payments
Bill 1997.Under the previous legislation, decisions were reviewed
by the Health Insurance Commission.
Items 26 and 27 allow overpayments of child
care subsidies to be recovered from other payments made under the
Social Security Act 1991.The effect of Item
41 is to require confidentiality of information obtained
in connection with payments under the Child Care Payments Act
Amendments to the Social Security Act 1991
(Items 22-43) commence on the commencement of the
Child Care Payments Act 1997.
- National Childcare Information Strategy, Information
Kit, 29 August 1997.
- Department of Health and Family Services, Commonwealth
Children's Services Program: report on public consultations on
future directions 1996-97, May 1997: 12.
19 September 1997
Bills Digest Service
Information and Research Services
This Digest does not have any official legal status. Other
sources should be consulted to determine whether the Bill has been
enacted and, if so, whether the subsequent Act reflects further
IRS staff are available to discuss the paper's contents
with Senators and Members and their staff but not with members of
© Commonwealth of Australia 1997
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Last updated: 22 September 1997
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