Childcare: The strain on cost of living Budget 2022 fails to address
29 March 2021 – The Federal Budget has failed to deliver vital relief for families on the cost of early learning and childcare, with the Thrive by Five campaign highlighting Federal Government changes for more flexible paid parental leave arrangements don’t go far enough.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said, “Out of pocket early learning costs have gone up by nearly 10 per cent over the past two years and yet this Budget fails to make childcare more affordable.
“The Budget is a missed opportunity to invest properly in high-quality early childhood education as a key driver for easing cost of living pressures and supporting women and children.
“The cost of childcare places pressure on household budgets, makes work unaffordable for too many parents – especially women – and leaves too many children without access to learning in the crucial early years.
“Early learning is a smart investment with every dollar spent delivering about $2 back in economic and social benefits.
The Budget has also failed to invest in Australia’s early childhood workforce which is in crisis, with record vacancies and educators leaving at an unprecedented pace.
“The sector was looking to the government to recognise this with improved wages, conditions, training and professional support. But that hasn’t happened, which will mean longer waiting lists for families as centres struggle to attract and retain sufficient educators.
“Fixing the early learning system is the type of reform that will define this generation of political leaders, contribute to greater gender equality and set Australia on a trajectory of economic growth unmatched in our nation’s history,” Mr Weatherill said.