CCS changes not enough, more ambitious reforms needed, Thrive by Five says

CCS changes not enough, more ambitious reforms needed, Thrive by Five says

by Freya Lucas

March 08, 2022

Changes to the Child Care Subsidy, which came into play yesterday with the intention of helping families with more than one child attending early learning, don’t go nearly far enough, advocacy organisation Thrive by Five has said, claiming that nearly 700,000 families will miss out on relief under the measures. 

 

Modelling by the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University found the change will only impact about one in four families who use childcare, leaving nearly 700,000 families no better off.

 

Instead, Thrive by Five advocated for the reforms laid out in the Grattan Institute report Cheaper childcare: A practical plan to boost female workforce participation, which would see approximately 60 per cent of families paying less than $20 a day per child for childcare, and no families worse off.

 

“Every Australian child should have access to affordable and high-quality early learning and care, not just a few,” said Director of Thrive by Five Jay Weatherill. 

 

“While the start of additional childcare subsidies is a welcome step forward, too many families and children will still miss out.”

 

“We have also already seen several early childhood education and care providers raise their fees this year, with the potential for more increases ahead. Surging early learning costs are a strong indicator that the nation’s early learning system needs urgent reform.”

 

Mr Weatherill said that the lack of affordable care is influencing parental choices and female workforce participation.

 

“Rising childcare costs not only hold back parents from entering into paid work or increasing work hours, it places strain on family budgets and wellbeing and can limit the opportunity for children to access learning in the critical early years.”

 

“The message to political leaders from all sides is we want affordable, flexible, high-quality early learning. Reforming Australia’s outdated and expensive childcare and early learning system must be a top priority.”

 

Ahead of the yet to be announced Federal Election, Thrive by Five is calling for significant investment in universally accessible, high quality and affordable early learning.

 

For further costing information, please refer to the Centre for Policy Development’s Starting better report, available here.

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