Call to do right thing for all Australian families
Thousands of families are being forced to pay the full cost of childcare having already hit the child care assistance rebate cap just weeks into 2017, according to Department of Education figures.
The figures show more than 3,600 families had already hit the $7,500 rebate cap and by the end of March about 36,000 families are expected to reach their CCR annual cap, meaning they will pay the full cost of childcare for three months.
Goodstart Early Learning said many of its own families had already hit the cap and expects the rebate limit, which hasn’t been changed since 2008, will impact on more than 100,000 families this year, with many parents reducing their work hours as a result. The not-for-profit social enterprise is calling on the Parliament to support moves by the Government to remove the annual cap on childcare for families.
“Under the Government’s proposed child care reforms, the cap will be removed for the vast majority of Australian families,” Goodstart’s advocacy manager John Cherry said.
“The changes will see the cap removed for 85 per cent of families earning less than $185,000 and increased to $10,000 for families on higher incomes.”
Mr Cherry said removal of the cap would result in an increase in workforce participation with more parents given the option to work more days or hours.
“Parents are telling us loud and clear that their response to the removal of the cap will be to work more hours and that’s good for their families and good for the nation.”
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said it was vital for Australian families that the childcare reforms be passed and supported by Labor and the crossbench.
“Thousands of families are starting the new year having already run out of assistance for meeting the cost of early childhood education and care.
“By the end of June we estimate around 94,000 families will hit the rebate cap,” Mr Birmingham said.
The future of the childcare reforms hangs in the balance with the Government, Opposition, Greens and Senate cross-benchers continuing to argue about the savings measures attached to the legislation.
A Senate committee is due to report on the issues on March 20.
Goodstart has told earlier Senate Inquiries that with modest amendments to better support vulnerable Indigenous children and the children of non-working parents, the reforms will be great for children and their families.