The Parenthood welcomes Labor’s ‘Cheaper Childcare’ legislation & calls for support for educators
The Parenthood welcomes the introduction of Labor’s ‘Cheaper childcare’ legislation that will cut the cost of early childhood education and care for more than one million Australian families.
The legislation, introduced by Education Minister Jason Clare, reflects a $5.4billion commitment the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made in October 2020 as opposition leader that became one of Labor’s key election promises.
“The government’s Cheaper Childcare package acknowledges that early education and care is unaffordable for too many Australians,” The Parenthood’s Executive Director, Georgie Dent said. “It means children miss out, parents struggle to combine work and care and productivity is hampered.”
“This investment will deliver welcome financial relief for families who pay some of the most expensive out of pocket fees for childcare in the world,” Dent said. “This change will give more children an opportunity to benefit from quality early learning and help alleviate workforce shortages. By lowering the cost of care for families these changes will free up the equivalent of 44,000 additional full-time workers - mostly mums - who are already here, experienced, skilled and want to work more.”
“At the Jobs Summit there was consensus among leaders from business, unions, community and government, that early education and care is critical to achieving full employment, unlocking the full potential of women’s workforce participation, addressing the educational decline and investing in the future capacity,” Dent said.
To realise the potential increased productivity and benefits for children from the Cheaper Childcare package, we will need the equivalent of 9,650 additional full time educators by next year to absorb the additional demand.
“Right now rather than expanding this critical workforce is contracting. In July there were more than 6600 staff vacancies in early learning services nationally.
“Without early educators, there is no early education. This workforce contracting is a problem for every employer in the country because if a parent cannot access suitable, quality care, they cannot access work,” Dent said.
“Investing in a strong, sustainable and growing early education workforce to deliver on the Cheaper Childcare changes is critical.”