Indigenous children will be significantly worse off under Malcolm Turnbull’s proposed child care changes, according to a new report released today.
The Government plans to shut down the Budget Based Funded program and end direct support for 300 early education services – 80 per cent of which serve Indigenous families.
Deloitte Access Economics has found the changes will disadvantage Indigenous children:
54 per cent of families will face an average fee increase of $4.40 an hour;
40 per cent of families will have their access to early education reduced; and
Over two thirds of Indigenous early childhood education services will have their funding cut.
“It is utterly unbelievable that the Government could spend $3 billion to make thousands of Indigenous children worse off,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said.
“The Government’s child care changes will drive vulnerable Indigenous children out of care and force many services to charge fees for the first time – fees that parents will simply not be able to pay.
“It’s a fantasy for the Government to think services in rural and remote locations will be viable without direct support.
"In every state, Indigenous children have a below-average participation rate in early education. If we are going to close the gap we need more places, not higher fees and rules that push children out.
“This comes on top of the Government cutting funding to 38 Indigenous Child and Family Centres across Australia,” Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Shayne Neumann, said.
“In Senate Estimates less than two weeks ago, the Government refused to say how many of the 20,000 children in Budget Based Funded services would be worse off – now we know what they were hiding.
“After more than two years and three ministers, the community deserves real answers, not more excuses and confusion.”