The Parenthood welcomes the opportunity to provide a Pre-Budget Submission to the Australian Treasury for the 2021-2022 Federal Budget.
In raising children, parents and carers have the future of Australia in their hands. Every child, in every family, shapes our future. By the age of 5, 90% of a child’s brain is fully developed. The early years set the foundations for life long optimal health, educational, wellbeing and economic outcomes.
Investing in children represents an investment in human capital and potential that benefits everyone and can create intergenerational change. Current policy settings do not sufficiently support children, families and parent which leads to negative social and economic outcomes including:
■ Poorer educational and health outcomes for children and lower lifetime earnings;
■ Poorer health and wellbeing outcomes for parents;
■ Reduced participation in the workforce, particularly for women; and
■ Lower rates of fertility that undermine long-term sustainability of government finances.
The Parenthood’s primary recommendations are:
1. Increase statutory paid parental leave for parents and carers.
2. Make high quality early childhood education and care universally accessible to all children.
3. Protect children from poverty.
4. Commit to reducing gender inequality.
5. Support parents and caregivers through family inclusive workplace policies.
The unprecedented, turbulent social and economic conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 has exacerbated the case for reform. There are around 2.6 million families with dependent children aged under 15 in Australia. Prioritising support for those parents and children is a critical investment in Australia’s COVID recovery and future that will yield rich rewards for children, families, the economy and community.
For more information about the contents of this submission please contact:
Executive Director, The Parenthood