Upcoming Federal Budget must address the needs of women and reform childcare: Thrive by Five campaign
21 April 2021 – Investment in early learning and childcare are key for delivering a Federal Budget that fuels economic recovery, delivers greater gender equality, and improves learning outcomes for children, according to Thrive by Five campaign CEO Jay Weatherill.
The campaign’s budget submission calls on the Federal Government to:
- Designate early learning and childcare as a National Cabinet priority;
- Implement a three-year review and reform of the early childhood learning system;
- Boost the childcare subsidy for low-income families from 85 per cent to 95 per cent, flattenand simplify the taper, and remove the annual cap; and
- Significant investment in a National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Strategy.
Mr Weatherill said as Australia emerged from the economic trauma of a pandemic the Federal Budget needed to deliver a major reset of the economy and urgent practical action for women, including childcare reform.
“Every woman deserves the right to make choices about her career and family life, without the cost and availability of early learning and childcare limiting her options. This Budget must provide practical support for women who have families and young children,” he said.
“Under the current system, too many families end up financially worse off if women work additional days or take additional shifts.
“Reforming Australia’s out-dated childcare funding arrangements will create lifelong economic advantages for women.
“A universal, accessible and high-quality early learning and childcare system would remove a massive disincentive for women’s workplace participation.”
The Grattan Institute recently found an investment of $5 billion more per annum in the child care subsidy (CCS) would boost GDP by an estimated $11 billion annually, and deliver $150,000 in higher lifetime earnings for the average Australian working mother.
“A funding boost to early education and childcare would have ongoing economic benefits, address women’s inequality and support future generations of Australians,” Mr Weatherill said.
Jay Weatherill is available for interview.
Thrive by Five Budget Submission available here.