Labor has today secured a Senate Inquiry into the Government’s child care changes and is calling on Malcom Turnbull to fix the serious flaws in his proposal and boost assistance for families now.
Experts have identified grave policy failings in the Government’s proposals, with independent modelling showing one in three families will be worse off.
As it stands, Malcolm Turnbull’s harsh new activity test will cut access for vulnerable and disadvantaged children, and push many out of the system altogether. In addition, cuts to Budget Based Funded services will hurt children that rely on Indigenous and mobile services in country areas.
Labor supports additional investment in early education and care – but the Government must amend their child care changes to:
Fix the activity test so all children have access to two days of early education
Guarantee ongoing support for Budget Base Funded Indigenous and mobile services
Ensure vulnerable and disadvantaged children do not have their access to early education cut
Immediately increase assistance for families, in line with Labor’s policy at the election
It was Malcom Turnbull’s decision to delay these changes until mid-2018. There is now more than enough time to get them right. His delay also means families need interim assistance now.
“Labor is calling on the Government to provide an immediate boost in child care assistance, and work to fix the serious issues with their proposed changes,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, Kate Ellis, said.
“Despite costing billions of taxpayer dollars, Malcolm Turnbull’s changes would leave one in three families worse off and hurt disadvantaged children, who have the most to gain from early education.
“Malcolm Turnbull’s harsh new activity test will leave 150,000 families worse off – many of them vulnerable.
“His changes will see cuts to two thirds of Indigenous services, a major setback to Closing the Gap.
“The Liberals have already gone three years without delivering any child care relief and families simply can’t afford to wait until the second half of 2018.
“Labor wants to work with the Government to strike the right balance and make sure this investment is helping those families and children that need it most.”
Labor is unable to support these changes in their current form, but we want to work with the Government to deliver improvements.
THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR ADELAIDE
SENATOR JACINTA COLLINS
Shadow Assistant Minister for Early Childhood