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Labor's child care plans hit the mark

Media Release 8 October 2020

The Parenthood has welcomed Labor’s proposed cut in child care fees and commitment to overhaul Australia’s early education and care system as the kind of bold reform needed for supporting children, families and carers, and increasing women’s workforce participation.

“Putting women at the heart of Labor's plan to kickstart the economy and get Australians back to work is compelling politics and policy because of the adverse implications women have suffered out of COVID-19,” Executive Director Georgie Dent said.

“Addressing the economic reality women in Australia are facing is desperately needed.”  

And the Opposition Leader appears to understand that by putting women at the centre of his reply and key policy pledge.

'This is not welfare. This is structural reform,' Albanese said of Labor’s $6 billion Working Family Childcare Boost plan. 

The child plan outlined in Labor’s Federal Budget response tonight will:
- end the $10,560 child care subsidy cap which often sees women losing money from additional days worked; 
- lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent; and
- increase child care subsidy rates and taper them for every family earning less than $530,000.

Longer term, Albanese said if he’s PM he will make affordable, high quality early education universal. Under the plan, the Productivity Commission will also conduct a comprehensive review of the sector with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families.

“This commitment is exactly the kind of structural reform Australia needs right now,” Ms Dent said. “You can’t credibly solve the ‘pink recession’ and increase women’s workforce participation without providing universal access to high-quality early learning and care. “

There is a massive opportunity for the Federal Government to match the child care commitments announced tonight and work towards implementing universal, quality early learning. “Investing more in early learning education and child care would pay dividends in supporting more women into paid work, growing employment in a female-dominated industry and giving kids the best start possible.

“Grattan Institute modelling has shown spending $5 billion on universal, high-quality early learning would deliver $11 billion in increased economic activity by helping women back into the workforce.
“Few other opportunities for government can deliver such strong economic returns, let alone the priceless benefits for children, families, business and our society. We also know when low and medium income families make savings on out-of-pocket costs for child care, the benefit flow directly into increased household spending and help stimulate our sluggish economy.

“We need the Federal Government to set up and deliver proper reform and funding to support the best possible early childhood education system,” she said.

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MEDIA CONTACT: For interviews with Executive Director Georgie Dent call 0400 437 434.