Federal government’s revised childcare package will make average incomes of young families $30 a week better. The plan exempts about 3,900 grandparent carers from work activity tests for subsidised childcare. The next four years will see the package provide additional funding of more than $3 billion. Families earning $65,000 to $170,000 and using childcare will save $1,500 a year. However, for families earning more than $250,000 yearly, subsidies will start tapering down from 50 per cent of costs.

The new childcare scheme, as per News.com.au also means a total of approximately $40 billion over the next four years in early learning support, new work activity test. Families with a total earning of $340,000 a year can claim only 20 per cent of childcare costs.

According to Sky News Australia, reactions from Labor and Greens have been lukewarm. They want to see the revised childcare package in more detail and have also raised concern with what has been disclosed.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham called the childcare rebate a generous package and independent senator Nick Xenophon accepted that the package has good elements.

“This is still a very generous package involving more than $3 billion in additional Government expenditure but we're making sure that the most help is targeted to those who most need it to juggle work and family obligations who are on low and middle incomes,” Senator Birmingham told ABC Television.

Senator Xenophon however feels that it is unfair that the childcare package will curtail the benefits of single mothers with multiple children simply to subsidise childcare of families whose earning exceeds $250,000 a year.

“There should be scope for some adjustment to the threshold for the tapering down of the childcare subsidy being reduced at $180,000 a year,” he said, reports Sky News.

Labor's deputy leader Tanya Plibersek said that the party supports everything that will help lower income families save more but she feels the government does not have clarity on many aspects of the policy.

While Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said parents who are in the workforce doing casual shifts will not have access to a guaranteed childcare spot under the revised package, Kate Ellis, Labor spokeswoman for early childhood expressed concerns over more red tape and long waiting lists as a result of the changes.

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