IT’S TIME THE GOVERNMENT ADDRESSES UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ON CHILD CARE CHANGES

The Government cannot continue to hide the facts about who will be worse off under their proposed child care changes, with a new report today questioning key aspects of the package.

Early education experts have raised serious concerns about the impact of the changes on the affordability and availability of child care, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, casual and part-time workers, and parents returning to the workforce. For months, Labor has been asking for details of these child care changes, but Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have refused to provide them.

This comes just a week after NATSEM modelling revealed one in four families will be on average $1,880 a year worse off because of the Abbott Government’s child care changes – with low-middle income families, and single income families hardest hit. This comes on top of their cuts to family payments, which simply rob Peter to pay Paul.

Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said cutting access to early education would hurt vulnerable and disadvantaged children, who have the most to gain.

“Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison’s new child care restrictions will see some children locked out of early education altogether, while others will have their access cut in half.

“90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years and the Government’s should be widening access to early education, not narrowing it.”

The Government’s child care access changes will also make it harder for parents – especially those working casually and part-time – to get back into the workforce.

“This Government doesn’t seem to understand parents need access to early education and care before they can get work, not the other way around.

“Despite months of questions, the Government still have not released basic information. It’s time Scott Morrison started providing Australian families with answers.”

Labor believes that child care should be accessible and affordable for parents and support children's early education and development.

From the outset, Labor has been focused on ensuring any changes to the child care system won't leave Australian families worse off and that disadvantaged and vulnerable children are protected.

 

MONDAY, 6 JULY 2015