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Financial Assistance for parents/guardians with children commencing Prep or Year 7 in 2012.

Education Maintenance Allowance :
The Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is provided by the Victorian Government to low-income families to help with education-related costs. If you have a child under 16, and hold a valid Health Care Card or Pension Card you may be eligible to receive the EMA.
The allowance is split evenly between the parent and the school, and is paid in two instalments, one in March and one in August. The parent portion is often used for uniforms and excursions, while the school portion may be used for expenses such as textbooks, stationery and special programs.
You can elect to have the parent portion of the EMA paid into your nominated bank account or receive a cheque. In 2012, the total annual amount is $235 for primary students and $470 for secondary students – these amounts are split evenly between the parents/guardians and the school.
School Start Bonus:
The School Start Bonus is provided by the Victorian Government to assist low- income families with the costs associated with their child starting Prep or Year 7 at a government or non-government school. If you hold a valid Health Care Card or Pension Card, and you have a child starting Prep or Year 7, you may be eligible to receive this one-off $300 payment.
The School Start Bonus will be paid by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) into your nominated bank account in late January 2012. The School Start Bonus is separate from, and additional to, the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).
How to Apply: Contact the school office to complete an application form for the EMA/School Start Bonus.
Closing Date: Parents/guardians with Prep or Year 7 children commencing in 2012 need to lodge an EMA/School Start Bonus form before 15 December, 2011. For late enrolments, applications will be accepted up until 29 February 2012. For more information about the School Start Bonus and the EMA,    visit www.education.vic.gov.au/financial assistance
Education Tax Refund:
The Education Tax Refund is a Commonwealth Government tax refund to help with the cost of educating primary and secondary school children. Eligible parents, carers, legal guardians and independent students can be reimbursed for half the cost of it, such as computers, educational software, textbooks and stationery. For more information visit www.educationtaxrefund.gov.au.