Joint media release with the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
More support for more families with the cost of child care starts from today.
For too long Australian families have struggled with the cost of child care and a broken system that has restricted their ability to work the hours and days that suit them.
That all changes from today.
The Government’s new early education and child care system will benefit nearly one million families and analysis shows the changes will deliver more than $1,300 extra per child each year for the average family.
We’re better targeting subsidies to families who work the most and to families who earn the least and making an additional $2.5 billion investment into the child care system.
We’re increasing the subsidy from around 72 per cent to 85 per cent for the more than 370,000 families earning less than $66,958 a year.
We’re abolishing the dreaded annual rebate cap for families earning $186,958 or less a year – that’s more than 85 per cent of families using child care in Australia. The cap is being increased to $10,190 for families earning above that threshold.
We’re introducing an activity test to ensure subsidies are targeted to those who depend on child care in order to work, train, study or volunteer, or who are looking for work or want to work additional hours. There are exemptions for families in difficult circumstances such as when they face serious illness.
We’re putting in place hourly rate caps in line with recommendations from the Productivity Commission to help put downward pressure on fee increases.
Our reforms will put more money back in the pockets of working Australians.
This better reflects the needs of modern Australian families and their desire to base their child care around their work, rather than making their work suit their child care. It’s expected our changes will encourage around 230,000 families to increase their workforce participation.
Our new $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net also guarantees access to child care and early learning for vulnerable children and families because we recognise they need extra support.
The Government’s ongoing support for high quality early learning is also further boosted through our $870 million in support of 15 hours of preschool a week for every child during 2018 and 2019.
These reforms are key to the Government’s plan for a stronger economy that helps guarantee the essential services that so many Australian families rely on, such as child care and early learning support.
Our reforms stand in stark contrast to the Labor Party who voted against more child care support for families and who have refused to outline any plans for Australia’s early childhood education and care system.