Childcare fees are back on the table, au pairs are in short supply in Australia and you’re trying to limit the risk your elderly parents are exposed to. On top of that you’re working full-time from home, possibly still homeschooling and busier than you ever thought possible. Depending on where you are in Australia, Covid-19 restrictions may have been intensified. The options parents currently have available to them when it comes to getting help looking after their children are far from ideal. It’s putting families and women under a lot of additional pressure in a climate where stress and anxiety are on the rise. If you’re a single parent, a shift worker, work irregular hours, or have minimal/no family support, that pressure becomes insurmountable.
For the past 3 months the government has fully covered the cost of childcare to parents which has been a saving grace for many families in the height of COVID-19 lockdown in Australia. That saving grace has now been reverted to the childcare subsidy. The subsidy calculation factors in 3 components - your family’s income, the hourly capped rate you pay for childcare and hours of “recognised activity”.
You can read the full explanation here.
With many families living off a reduced income due to COVID-19, the change in childcare subsidies carries even more weight. In turn, many mothers are finding themselves burning the candle at both ends while they try to juggle their family and professional life.
Amongst all of this, nannies and au pairs who would usually help alleviate this delicate balancing act are returning to their home countries at alarming rates leaving a big gap that won’t be filled by new international arrivals for quite some time.
However, help is still readily available and best of all it won’t leave your wallet feeling light. Simply by sharing your spare bedroom you could have someone help you for 14 hours a week in ‘Xchange’ for providing them with a place to call home. Their tasks could include childcare, helping the kids with homework, getting dinner ready, general housework, pick up/drop off; anything that you would usually have a nanny, baby sitter or au pair help you with. All users on the platform are vetted and verified with a Digital ID by Australia Post. They can also apply for and upload a police check, and are also covered by our $5m public liability insurance. Plus having live-in help minimises the number of people your family has contact with. It’s a solution that ticks all the boxes for parents needing a bit of extra support right now.