Goodstart urges Turnbull Government to act on childcare reforms
The nation’s largest not-for-profit childcare provider has urged the Turnbull Government to urgently introduce its childcare reforms into Parliament.
Goodstart Early Learning CEO Julia Davison said the legislation must be introduced urgently as more than 110,000 families are expected to exceed the childcare rebate cap this year, leaving many struggling to pay the full cost of childcare for months at a time.
Government data shows that while fees rose by an annual average of 5.4 per cent p.a. since 2013, families’ out of pocket rose by 8.3 per cent because subsidies have not kept up.
With average incomes rising by less than two per cent p.a. the result has been that for working families the cost of childcare has been eating into their after tax earnings.
Goodstart is concerned struggling families are still waiting for the help three years after they were first promised more support and without urgent action they could be waiting three more.
“The childcare reform package is long overdue as childcare assistance has not been keeping up with the rising cost of care," Ms Davison said.
“Families need these reforms passed during the final parliamentary session for 2016. If not there’s a very high risk they will still be waiting for help at the next election as complex IT systems need to be developed to introduce the new single subsidy system.”
“This is particularly the case where both parents work and use more than three days of childcare a week as successive governments have frozen the childcare rebate cap at the 2008 level of $7500.
“This year more than 110,000 families are expected to exceed the cap, leaving many struggling to pay the full cost of care for weeks and sometimes months.
“That acts as a huge disincentive for many working parents to work more than two or three days a week.
“Families simply cannot afford to wait any longer for relief,” Ms Davison said.