This year has been a wild ride for The Parenthood.
At the beginning of 2022 we could not have imagined that the Prime Minister of Australia would mention - let alone THANK - this community on the floor of Parliament. Or that our campaigns would be splashed across the national news. Or that Victoria and NSW would announce an historic and bi-partisan billion dollar commitment to improve access to early childhood education and care. Or that we'd be invited to take a few families to meet the PM Anthony Albanese himself in his office to talk about Paid Parental Leave.
But all of that happened! And more!
The May 2022 election result meant that Labor's signature policy - an investment of $4.6 billion to cut the cost of early learning and care for more than one million Australian families - would become reality.
We didn't know, however, that in October Labor would also commit to expanding paid parental leave from 18 to 26 weeks by 2026.
These are HUGE wins for children, parents and families and we are proud to have played a small role - but there’s so much more to do.
More affordable early learning is only one part of the challenge: ensuring that every child - regardless of their postcode or their family's socioeconomic status - has access to quality, inclusive early childhood education and care is our ultimate end goal. That's going to take a stack more campaigning!
So will making sure families have access to quality, affordable outside school hours care.
Twenty-six weeks of paid parental leave is much better than 18 weeks ... but is still short of the 50+ weeks that families in the OECD have access to. Creating policy - and shifting attitudes - to ensure Dads in Australia have the opportunity to access extended paid parental leave is critical. We know dads taking extended parental leave leads to better outcomes for children, for parents and is key to closing the gender gap between men and women.
There is also still a stack of work to do to ensure all parents and carers have access to family friendly workplaces and work practices.
These are the policy changes necessary to make Australia the best place in the world to be a parent and raise a child. It's an audacious goal - but it's worth fighting for. We refuse to believe Australia cannot be world leading in setting children - and families - up to thrive. But it's going to take more advocacy, more research, more campaigning, more organising.
Right now, only a handful of people make a regular donation to The Parenthood each month. Imagine what we could achieve together if 100 people or more gave a regular donation each month?
We know that even $5 a month is a stretch too far for many. If you’re not in a position to donate, we completely understand. Just being part of this community will help achieve change.
But if you do have the means to help us keep pushing for more affordable early childhood education, better paid parental leave and more family-friendly working conditions, please join now as a monthly donor. Alternatively, you can make a one-off donation here.
The Parenthood is a tiny team (three people in fact) but we pack a punch because of people like you. Thank you for being involved - you have motivated and supported us so much over the last 12 months.
We hope that there is some rest on the horizon over the holiday break for each and every one of us. Take care of yourselves and each other. That's it from us until next year!
The Parenthood team
Georgie, Maddy and Michael