Friday, 17 July 2020
Since snapping back to the old child care system on Monday, it’s been a week of failures for the Morrison Government.
Information from the Department of Education shows 25 per cent of families are still waiting for the reconciliation of their 2018/19 Child Care Subsidy.
Just to be clear – we are now in the 2020/21 Financial Year. This means the Government has withheld money from some families for over a year.
In the same period, the Government collected $130 million from families in child care debts – despite ongoing concerns about the accuracy of the debt collection system.
The hypocrisy of this is staggering. This Government is gung-ho when it is accusing families of owing them money, but moves at a snail’s pace to hand money back rightfully owed to families.
New data released from the Department this week shows just how high child care fees had gotten pre-pandemic.
Fees jumped by 4.6 per cent in a year until December 2019 – with CPI only rising by 1.8 per cent in the same period.
With the Child Care Subsidy pinned to CPI, this data shows the financial burden being carried by families has been snowballing.
Around the country the hit has been even worse – as reported today, Brisbane families were slogged with a 14 per cent fee increase.
Snapping back to these high fees in the middle of a recession will make child care out of reach for many.
Families who have taken a pay cut over the past few months will now be forced to give up child care, and in turn parents will be forced to give up work.
Reports emerged this week showing the deep flaws of the Additional Child Care Subsidy – which the Minister claims is the panacea for supporting struggling families to access early education.
The subsidy was shown to be wrapped up in red tape and completely insufficient to cover the tens of thousands of families now facing hardship.
All of this new information is evidence of a Government that is letting families down when they are doing it tougher than ever.
Australian families deserve better.