A GOOD DAY FOR FAMILIES: THE PARENTHOOD WELCOMES PASSAGE OF LABOR’S ‘CHEAPER CHILD CARE’ BILL
Families can expect a significant reduction in out of pocket costs for early childhood education and care from July next year, after the $4.5 billion Affordable Child Care bill was passed in the Senate on Tuesday.
“This legislation will cut the cost of early childhood education and care for more than one million families in Australia,” the Executive Director of The Parenthood Georgie Dent said. “Early childhood education and care has been unaffordable for too many Australians for too long. The high cost has posed a disincentive for many parents to work as many days or hours as they’d like.
“It’s often mums who work fewer hours or leave the workforce altogether due to the exorbitant cost and this hampers their financial security, national productivity and means children miss out.
“This bill will deliver financial relief for families, lift productivity, help reduce gender inequity and ensure more children can thrive. Making early learning much more affordable will also ease the labour shortages by supporting more parents to re-enter the workforce.
“It’s estimated that these changes will free up the equivalent of at least 38,000 additional full-time workers - mostly mums.
“However this will require families to access around 185,000 additional days of care which will require the equivalent of 9,650 additional full time educators by next year. To realise the full benefits of increased productivity the workforce challenges in early education must be addressed.
“Without early educators, there is no early education.
“We wish to acknowledge the specific contributions of both Senator Mehreen Faruqi and Senator David Pocock in relation to this critical workforce being recognised and valued. Increasing access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children via changes to the Activity Test are welcome, but more changes are needed.
“The Parenthood welcomes this bill and will continue to advocate for changes to ensure all children in Australia have access to quality, affordable early childhood education and care.”