New Consumer Price Index (CPI) data shows childcare costs have dropped by 13.2 per cent in the past quarter, decreasing the overall out-of-pocket cost for parents. The ABS notes this was due to ‘the average increase in the amount of subsidy families received being larger than fee increases for the quarter.’
The Parenthood commends the government for this major win but says that large-scale holistic reform is needed for families to feel the long-term benefits.
“The Parenthood is extremely grateful for this news. It reaffirms our faith in the fact that easing the cost-of-living crisis by making childcare more accessible and affordable is on the government’s priority list and paints a positive image of the future for Australian families.
“However, family budgets are still under pressure due to barriers that prevent parents with young children from returning to work and generating an income that matches the increasingly high cost-of-living.”
New ABS data released yesterday on the Labour Force Status of Families found that employment is declining among many Australian families, with just 25.7 per cent of two-parent families with children under four having both parents working full time. Of one-parent families, patterns of employment are lowest among single mothers with a child under five.
“This confirms what we’ve been hearing from parents across the country, that they are caught in a trap of choosing between working opportunities and the care and development of their children. The system is crying out for major, holistic reform to change that.
Ms Rudd said that the top priorities for reform in early childhood education and care
• Increasing wages for early childhood educators;
• Abolishing the Activity Test as soon as possible; and
• Moving to a national stewardship of the sector, rather than departmental
“It is only when these actions can work together that we will start to see sustainable economic benefits for families,” Ms Rudd said.