Many families with children under five will be feeling the strain with today’s announcement by the RBA of a 0.5% interest rate rise compounding existing financial pressure from rising supermarket prices and the soaring cost of early learning and care and petrol, according to The Parenthood.
The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said early learning is often the biggest source of financial pain for working families, after housing and mortgage costs.
“Today’s interest rate hike will increase the burden on family budgets and leave some parents with little option but to reduce early learning hours or cut it out altogether,” she said.
“Australian families pay some of the most expensive early learning fees in the world, the cost of living pressure is immense and the further interest rate rise announced today means the immediate doesn’t look any easier.
“In addition to the Federal government’s commitment to make early learning more affordable, in recent weeks the NSW and Victorian governments have announced significant early learning reforms and additional funding. The challenge is that family budgets are stretched now and they need more urgent relief.
“The Parenthood urges the Federal Government to make universally accessible early childhood education and care a priority in the upcoming October Budget.
“Making early learning much more affordable will not just help give children a better start in life and ease the financial strain on the hip pockets of parents but it will ease the labour shortages by supporting more parents to re-enter the workforce.
“Australia is the number one country in the world for educating women and girls, yet we are 70th in the world for female participation. We know Australian women are limiting their work because the cost of care is so high and early learning reform is vital for providing better options,” Ms Dent said.