#ParentsUp, a new parent-led campaign initiated by The Parenthood, is calling for a better deal for children.
Parents around Australia are joining forces with the #ParentsUp campaign to ensure delivering a better deal for children is a priority for politicians - and voters - ahead of the federal election.
“Raising a child and earning a living in Australia is a struggle for too many families and it’s costing children, parents, women and the economy dearly. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as hard as it is - there are solutions,” The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said.
“But we need leaders to recognise the case for change and prioritise the policies that will meaningfully improve the lives and wellbeing of children, parents and families.
“Supporting children starts with supporting their parents and carers. Unfortunately, Australia lags the developed world in the provision of policies that are proven to improve outcomes for children and families.”
Ahead of the federal election the #ParentsUp campaign is calling for political candidates and parties to make commitments to provide:
- One year of Paid Parental Leave to be shared between parents; and
- Universal access to quality, inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care and Outside School Hours Care.
“These policies are the ’bridges and roads’ that enable parents and carers to be there for their children and provide for their family,” Dent said.
“They are also shown to dramatically improve health, social, educational and economic outcomes for children, parents and Australia.
“Investing in paid parental leave and early childhood education and care reform represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our nation. The impact for parents, children and all Australians would be life-changing and help build a better future and stronger economy.
“It is time to deliver a better deal for children.”
In 2020 UNICEF ranked Australia in 32nd place out of 41 nations for child well-being and noted we ‘fall short in delivering consistently good health, education and social outcomes for children’.
When it comes to raising children, Australians are left stranded. With one of the shortest and least adequate paid parental leave schemes in the world and some of the highest out-of-pocket fees for early education and care and outside school hours care, it is incredibly difficult to raise a family and earn a living.
“In February this year more than 140,000 Australians were unemployed because they couldn’t find suitable child care. Another 64,000 wanted to work but weren’t looking for a job because of their caring responsibilities. Even before 2021 these issues needed to be addressed, but the coronavirus pandemic has increased the pressure on children and families and has exacerbated the urgent need for reform.
“These policies will deliver a better deal for children, for women and the economy and the time for a better deal is now.
“The cumulative impact of reforming early childhood education and care (ECEC) and paid parental leave (PPL) could increase national GDP by 4.1 per cent in 2050 or $166 billion. If Australia could lift female workplace participation to that of males, it would increase GDP by 8.7 per cent or $353 billion by 2050.”