Child Care Affordability! Discover how some parents are balancing the costs...

 Jenny Henderson Thu 13 September 18


Affordable child care? It’s the dream! But sadly, sometimes it’s more of a fantasy than a reality…

Parents Illawarra wide will be all too-familiar with the juggle that comes with trying to squeeze the most out of their eligible child care subsidised hours, and, often times, coming up short, leaving them with a larger than normal bill. Ouch.

It is why we are so pleased to report that Big Fat Smile, one of the Illawarra’s most respected providers of early education, childcare and inclusion services, are working to help families by offering Attendance Blocks.

The creation of Attendance Blocks means Big Fat Smile are working with the new childcare subsidy hours system – to get the most value out of families' eligible subsidised hours – hallelujah!

We will explain how Attendance Blocks work and how many parents can save money and make child care more affordable - but firstly, if your child is NOT in a Big Fat Smile Centre - consider asking your centre if they offer the equivalent of Attendance Blocks! You could be saving money week on week...

So what is an Attendance Block when it’s on offer? An Attendance Block (also referred to as Sessions) lets you choose less hours of child care per day to suit your needs - so this means you can use less of your eligible child care subsidy hours too. That is where the financial gain can be for parents! 

Say, for example your long day-care or child care centre is open for 12 hours (eg 6.30am - 6.30pm), but you only really use nine hours of care each day. In a centre WITHOUT Attendance Blocks, your subsidised hours would be slugged for using a full 12 hours, despite your child not actually being in care for three of them! Yikes.

With Big Fat Smile centres, your selected Attendance Block starts when you sign your child in for the day (finally a pay off for all parents like us, who generally run late!).

Big Fat Smile Attendance blocks run in nine hour, ten hour or full day care which makes the most of your eligible subsidised hours. So if your child is only in for nine hours from sign in to sign out, then you only use up nine subsidised hours. It’s a win, win situation.

Big Fat Smile is all about providing the highest quality early education and care in Australia. As a not-for-profit, community-owned service, making care more accessible, and as such, life easier, for parents all over our region, is at the core of what they do. Attendance Blocks are just one way that Big Fat Smile are making a difference to families in the Illawarra.

We are so happy to report that Attendance Blocks can help make child care more affordable for many parents whose children are in long day care… Make sure you check in with your centre, or any centres who you enrol with, if they offer the equivalent of Attendance Blocks!

Big Fat Smile child care centres are Illawarra wide and they are open for enrolments! To find out more about your local centre, visit the Big Fat Smile website or contact the team on 1300 002 237 to discuss how to make the most of your Child Care Subsidy hours or to become part of the Big Fat Smile family.

With our thanks to Big Fat Smile for partnering with Parents Guide, sharing this positive news with us and sponsoring this article ☺


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