TUESDAY, 22 JULY 2014
Labor will closely study the Productivity Commission’s draft report on Child Care and Early Childhood Learning following its release today.
Today’s report contains many broad-ranging recommendations, but the only thing that is certain about this review is that Tony Abbott has guaranteed that there will be no additional money for child care to fund them.
“In making any recommendations for future Australian Government policy settings, the Commission will consider options within current funding parameters.” (Abbott Government Terms of Reference)
“Any new programs for families, such as subsidies for nannies, can only be funded through cuts to the existing child care services that families rely on every day and I know many would be deeply concerned about this,” Shadow Minister for Early Childhood, Kate Ellis, said.
“Tony Abbott said he commissioned this report to look at ways to improve child care affordability, yet his own Government has already announced over $1 billion in child care cuts.”
“Right now the Abbott Government has legislation before the Parliament which has the sole purpose of cutting child care assistance for low and middle income families, including those on as little as $42,000.”
“If the Government was serious about improving affordability, it would demonstrate it today and immediately abandon the cuts to child care assistance currently before the Parliament. Anything less shows they are all talk yet their only action is to cut much needed funds.”
The Productivity Commission have also joined the army of critics who have come out against the Prime Minister’s unfair Paid Parental Leave scheme and have agreed that the funding would be better spent elsewhere.
Kate Ellis noted with great concern the recommendations in the report that would erode quality standards agreed by Federal, State and Territory Governments.
“International research shows that 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years, and that high quality early education leads to improved school results and better life outcomes,” Kate Ellis said.