Child care changes leave families stranded

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Labor is deeply concerned by reports that the Morrison Government’s child care changes have resulted in many families being forced to give up work or reduce hours as they are unable to access the care they require.

Examples are emerging where, as a result of government changes, early learning providers are having to reduce staff, cut opening hours, deny care to new families or cancel existing enrolments to remain financially viable.

Despite the Prime Minister stating that every Australian with a job is an essential worker, the reality for some Australians is that access to child care is now a barrier to participating in work.

The government’s changes restrict providers to 50 per cent of their revenue as of the beginning of March and, if eligible, Jobkeeper payments. As a result many providers no longer have the financial capacity to take new enrolments or allow parents to increase their hours.

For those fortunate enough to still be employed during this period, many workers with children have found their child care needs have changed. This can be due to the fact they feel they can no longer ask grandparents for care or they are in an industry with increased demand such as healthcare. It is vital our child care system is flexible and can support this change in demand for their services.

It is unacceptable to hear reports of nurses being unable to work because they cannot find care, or mothers being unable to return from maternity leave because they’ve lost their child care place.

Labor urges the Morrison Government to adequately fund our early education and care system, to ensure every Australian family who requires child care can access it.

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