Thrive by Five welcomes passage of Cheaper Child Care Legislation
22 November 2022– Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative has welcomed the successful passage of the Federal Government’s Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Cheaper Child Care) Bill 2022 through the Senate.
Director Jay Weatherill said making childcare more affordable was an important step on the path to early learning reform.
“High out-of-pocket costs for childcare are a barrier for many families, making it harder for parents to return to work and preventing children from accessing the lifelong benefits that arise from participation in high quality early learning,” Mr Weatherill said.
The legislation will make childcare cheaper for approximately 96 per cent of families with children in childcare.*
“By making childcare more affordable, more parents, particularly women, have greater choice in returning to work. This helps address gender equality issues like the pay gap, the superannuation shortfall and women’s financial security, as well as cost-of-living pressures on families.
“For our economy, this increase in workforce participation will help alleviate the labour shortages being experienced across the country and across industries, and will deliver greater income tax earnings.
“Young children will benefit through improved health and wellbeing and better educational outcomes arising from the opportunity to participate in high quality early learning.
“However, the task of reforming Australia’s early learning system does not end with the passing of this legislation, and we look forward to further measures from all governments in the future,” Mr Weatherill said.
Thrive by Five is calling for a high quality, affordable and universally accessible childcare system, staffed by an appropriately paid and valued workforce. This includes a pay rise for early childhood educators, the abolition of the Activity Test, and reinstating funding for First Nations children and family services.
* Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Cheaper Child Care) Bill 2022, second reading speech https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Hansard/Hansard_Display?bid=chamber/hansardr/26128/&sid=0008