A tick of approval for Big Fat Smile’s ‘flexible childcare’ blocks

TICK OF APPROVAL: David Archer, pictured with five-year-old daughter Brielle Archer at Western Suburbs Community preschool, supports Big Fat Smile's Attendance Blocks initiative. Picture: Adam Mclean.
TICK OF APPROVAL: David Archer, pictured with five-year-old daughter Brielle Archer at Western Suburbs Community preschool, supports Big Fat Smile's Attendance Blocks initiative. Picture: Adam Mclean.

It’s all about the flexibility for the Archer family from Cordeaux Heights.

The Archers also appreciate the fact that they will save some money in choosing to take up the Attendance Blocks initiative offered by Big Fat Smile.

One of Australia’s leading providers of early childhood education and care has launched the plan for its long day care centres, to give families flexible options so they achieve the most benefit from their Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

Being able to choose the hours of child care he can use for his five-year-old daughter Brielle, was a welcome bonus for David Archer.

“I work in Silverwater. It is a fair trek everyday and my workdays can vary. My wife is in a similar position. So it is great to have that flexibility,” he said.

Under the new CCS, families can access subsidy for up to 100 hours of care per fortnight.

However, some long day care services are using the centres operating hours as the framework for the subsidy rather than how many hours a child actually attends.

As a result, the out of pocket costs for affected families have increased.

Big Fat Smile CEO Jenni Hutchins said that making affordable, quality childcare accessible to all families has always been a priority for the organisation.

Without Attendance Blocks we would run out of subsidised care for one day each fortnight, increasing our out-of-pocket costs.

David Archer

“Under our new Attendance Blocks offering, we’re giving families the option to choose an Attendance Block that suits their unique circumstances. This means they avoid exceeding their eligible hours which can potentially lead to a reduction of out of pocket costs,” Ms. Hutchins said.

Mr Archer said  Attendance Blocks has offered their family greater flexibility and sees them using only the hours they need under the CCS.

“Our daughter attends Big Fat Smile’s Western Suburbs Community preschool, five days a week. As her centre is open 11 hours per day, without Attendance Blocks we would run out of subsidised care for one day each fortnight, increasing our out-of-pocket costs,” he said.

“We welcomed the initiative as it makes all of the hours that our daughter attends eligible for subsidy.

“It has allowed us to reduce our out of pocket expenses which is vital for a family with a small child.”

The three Attendance Block options include nine hours, 10 hours and a full day. The block can start at any time within the centre’s operating hours of business.

“Making early learning and care affordable and accessible is key and we are confident our new Attendance Blocks initiative will support those families whose out of pocket costs have increased under the new CCS,” Ms Hutchins said.

Details at www.bigfatsmile.com.au or call 1300 002 237.