Labor is taking its child care scare campaign to Queensland today but its Shadow Ministers and candidates still refuse to answer questions about what a Shorten Government would do to fix Australia’s broken child care and early learning system.
Like Queensland families, the Turnbull Government knows the current child care and early learning system is broken.
The Turnbull Government’s reforms will deliver an extra $2.5 billion for the child care and early learning system meaning more support for more low and middle-income families and a $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net to help those in need.
Queenslanders are some of the biggest winners from the changes, potentially better off by hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year with around 198,000 families set to benefit. In Forde, around 8,900 families are set to benefit, around 7,100 in Longman and 7,500 in Bonner.
A family earning $80,000 a year with two children in care for three days a week, for example, will be around $3,000 better off each year. A family on $150,000 will be around $1,000 a year better off.
Labor like to distract attention with the small proportion of families that may not win from our changes but ignore the fact that these are either families with a parent not working, looking for work, studying or volunteering for an average four hours a week or are high income families earning more than $350,000 a year.
We are proud to target more Child Care Subsidy to those working longer hours or on low or middle incomes and estimate these changes will result in 230,000 Australians choosing to increase their workforce participation, a fact ignored in the figures Labor is peddling.
The Turnbull Government has also committed around $88.4 million in preschool funding to ensure around 68,000 children in Queensland have access to 15 hours a week of quality early learning in the year before school.
In contrast, just like Susan Lamb couldn’t be bothered getting her citizenship paperwork sorted, the Labor Party hasn’t bothered doing the paperwork to develop any sort of child care or early learning policy.
What’s more, despite their posturing Labor’s Amanda Rishworth admitted Labor has no policy and would just adopt the detailed work the Turnbull Government has done.
“I intend to allow the new system to have time to bed down before I look at a proper review”
– Amanda Rishworth, Speech – McKell Institute, 17/5/2018
Labor needs to answer:
• What exactly would Labor do that’s different to the Turnbull Government to help families pay child care bills?
• How will Labor stop the child care fee increases that characterised their last term in government with spikes of up to 14.6 per cent in just one year compared to increases as low as around 2.7 per cent under the Turnbull Government?
• Will Labor get rid of the Turnbull Government’s activity test and limits of subsidies to high income families and give taxpayer subsidies to anyone?
• What are Labor’s plans for early learning and preschool? Would they continue to give hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to states and territories for their preschool programs without addressing low attendance rates?
Only the Turnbull Government and the LNP team have a plan to help Queensland families with their child care bills and ensure local children get the early learning they need.
When Labor visits a Goodstart Early Learning centre today, they should ask what they think of the Turnbull Government’s reforms.
“The new Childcare Package is a major win for most low and middle income working families and will deliver more affordable childcare for working parents. That will support increased workforce participation and improve economic productivity and growth.”
– Julia Davison, CEO Goodstart Early Learning, Website
Summary of the Turnbull Government’s reforms:
• We’re increasing Australia’s investment in early childhood education and care by $2.5 billion over the next four years so that almost one million Australian families benefit – Low and middle-income families will be the greatest beneficiaries from the package.
• An activity test will ensure that taxpayer’s support for child care is targeted to those who depend on it in order to work, or work additional hours. All it takes is four hours a week of work, looking for work, studying or volunteering. It is estimated our reforms will encourage more than 230,000 families to increase their involvement in workforce participation.
• Fundamentally fair – this package provides the highest rate of subsidy to those on the lowest income levels and more hours of subsidy to those who work the most. We’re increasing the base subsidy from around 72 per cent to 85 per cent for the more than 370,000 families earning around $66,958 or less a year.
• Low and middle income families, earning up to around $186,958, will no longer be limited by an annual cap on the amount of child care they can access – that’s more than 85 per cent of families using child care. Families earning more than around $186,958 will also benefit from an increased annual rebate cap of $10,190.
• Our $1.2 billion Child Care Safety Net recognises vulnerable children and families need extra support.
Families should head to www.education.gov.au/childcare to see how they will benefit by using our subsidy estimator and to make the switchover to the new system.