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Nanny trial will be scaled down

The federal government is drastically scaling back its trial subsidies of nanny fees after underwhelming interest in the scheme.

The number of places will be cut from 3000 to just 500, with applications to take part closing from January 1, saving the government $170 million over two years, it revealed in Monday’s mid-year budget update.

In October government officials said there were fewer than 200 families using the service that started in January.

Last August, former Australian Nanny Association (ANA) president, Danielle Robertson, warned that the pilot was “set up to fail.”

“We believe the administration fee the government has allocated, at 5 per cent of the total rebate, is low; it can be as low as 17 cents per hour,” Robertson said in August. “For people who are supervising the nannies [in this pilot], they need to check on them and they need to mentor and support them. The government is saying 17 cents per hour is adequate for this to happen. We don’t believe that is adequate for any organisation.”

Current ANA president Annmarie Sansom said the cut was expected due to lack of interest in the scheme from parents. She explained that federally subsidisied in-home care was concurrently on offer, and was often cheaper.

“[The nanny pilot] was quite affordable for families with three or four kids, but only 20 per cent of families with children have three or four kids,” Sansom said.

The federal government is due to review the nanny pilot in 18 months.

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