17 March 2021 – The Thrive by Five campaign has welcomed the Business Council of Australia’s acknowledgement that early learning is vital for Australia’s long-term growth and its support for government reform of the child care subsidy (CCS).
Recommendation 27 of the Business Council of Australia’s Budget Submission, released today, outlines support for changes to the income taper rates for the CCS to reduce disincentive effects for female workforce participation.
It states, “We recommend increasing the maximum CCS for lower income households to 95 per cent of the hourly cap rate and commence the family income-based reduction at income of $80,000.
“The CCS would then decrease by 1 percentage point for every additional $4,000 of family income until the subsidy is phased out completely at family income of just over $450,000. The annual per child cap would be eliminated”.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said the BCA’s call for action on early learning and child care reform would be a wake up call for the Federal Government.
“Child care reform is not a favour for parents, it is a clever investment in boosting workplace participation, unlocking economic development and giving children the best start we can in life,” Mr Weatherill said.
“More affordable early learning and child care would allow more parents, mainly women, to increase their workplace participation and more women to work on growing their businesses.
“The pressure on families with children aged under five has never been greater and the case for affordable and universal access to high quality early learning and child care for the benefit of children, parents, our society and our economy has never been more compelling.”
Recent modelling from the Grattan Institute shows a subsidy of 95 per cent of child-care costs for low-income families would cost taxpayers an additional $5 billion a year and boost GDP by about $11 billion a year in the medium term through higher workforce participation.
“The upcoming Federal budget needs to recognise this by making a significant investment in the nation’s early learning system and substantially relieve the cost pressure on parents,” Mr Weatherill said.
BCA Budget submission available here: