No Jab No Pay is here to stay
PARENTS of children who aren't vaccinated are having to make new childcare arrangements as the Federal Government's new 'No Jab No Pay' pro-immunisation laws come into effect.
Under the new measures families with children who are not immunised (and do not have an approved exemption) will not receive the Child Care Benefit, Child Care Rebate (CCR) or the Family Tax Benefit (FTB) Part A end of year supplement.
The FTB is worth up to $726 per child.
The CCR is worth up to $7500 per child per year.
Director of the Rainbow Station Early Education Centre in Casino, Jacqui Taylor, said she already had two families leave her centre because they could no longer afford long day care without the subsidies.
The level of the subsidy depends on the age of the child, parents' income and whether they work or study.
With maximum subsidies parents can pay as little as $16 a day for long day care, Ms Taylor said.
She also said without the subsidies, long day care can cost at least $80-$90 per day, and much more in urban centres, which was unaffordable for average income earners.
As an alternative Ms Taylor said families with non-vaccinated children were turning to pre-schools where costs are $30 a day.
The new laws are part of the Federal Government's program to lift immunisation rates for children above 95%.
An unintended consequence of the 'No Jab No Pay' policy could be "clustering", Ms Taylor said.
This could happen if a lot of non-vaccinated or under vaccinated children end up in a limited number of pre-school centres.
Children who have a valid medical reason not to be vaccinated are still eligible for the government payments.
Conscientious objectors to vaccination are not exempt under the new rules.
The Australian Vaccination-skeptics Network has described this type of policy as "draconian".