New data: Parents counting on urgent relief from rising childcare costs
7 April 2022 – Thrive by Five has welcomed the launch today of the Kindicare calculator which assists Australian parents to assess how the early learning policies from the major parties, including childcare subsidies, will impact on childcare costs for their families.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said the new calculator places data on the hip-pocket impact of different early learning and care policies at the fingertips of parents.
“The rising cost of childcare is stretching household budgets and pushing up living costs for many Australian families,” he said.
“Out of pocket early learning costs have gone up by nearly 10 per cent over the past two years.
“Childcare is too expensive, doesn’t meet the needs of children, women and families and in too many parts of Australia is not available at all. These are all clear signs the system is broken and we need urgent reform.
“Reforming Australia’s outdated and expensive childcare and early learning system must be a top priority for the upcoming election.
“Every child, regardless of their postcode or family circumstances, should have access to at least three days of quality, affordable early learning and care, starting as soon as parents want it.
“Making high-quality early learning and childcare accessible to all Australian families is our best chance at growing the economy, recovering from the pandemic, and giving children the best start in life.
“Thrive by Five urges all parties and independents for commitment to universally accessible, high-quality and affordable early learning and care for all,” he said.
Thrive by Five’s eight key recommended early learning policy reforms are:
- Long-term federal and state partnership to fund 15 hours per week of three year old pre-school;
- Long-term federal and state partnership to fund 15 hours per week of four year old pre-school;
- Progressive increase in the childcare subsidy for first child to 95 per cent, starting with lifting the current subsidy to 90 per cent;
- Increase in the childcare subsidy for second or third children to 100 per cent;
- Make universal early learning system a formal National Cabinet priority;
- Improved workforce planning to fund appropriate pay and conditions for teachers and educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high turnover in the sector;
- Phase-in paid paid parental leave paid at the minimum wage for up to 12 months shared between parents/carers starting with an immediate move to 26 weeks of paid leave; and
- Universal access to maternal and child health care, with additional home visits for families needing extra support.
This publication is for information only concerning the position of Minderoo Foundation. For more detailed information please visit www.thrivebyfive.org.au