Politicians like to talk about supporting families but what does it really mean?

The Vote for Families campaign is based on three basic principles:

  • Quality childcare and early learning is an investment in our nation’s future
  • It needs to be affordable and accessible for all families
  • No child should be allowed to slip through the net.

This election we are asking all candidates to make a clear commitment to families by endorsing our five-point plan for families.

1. Increase funding for early learning by at least $3.1 billion to improve affordability and accessibility.

Both Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten have allocated funds for early learning. We want this investment to be unconditional, not subject to other cuts being passed by the Senate.

2. Ensure all children have access to at least 2 days of early learning and care.

The evidence is clear that children need to attend at least 15 hours of early learning each week to make a difference to their development.

3. Increase participation of indigenous children in early learning.

More than 40% of indigenous children start school developmentally vulnerable, and are less likely to have attended early learning. This needs to change – all indigenous children should be given the best possible start in life through access to early learning.

4. Give families immediate relief to make childcare for affordable now – not in 2018.

Families need childcare to be made more affordable now, they can’t wait for the new Childcare Subsidy to begin in 2018. We’re urging all sides of politics to increase the childcare benefit and the rebate cap from next year (1 July 2017).

5. Extend funding for preschool programs in the year before school.

This funding is vital as children who access preschool are less likely to start school developmentally behind their peers.

You can help make these five priorities a reality by sending your local candidates a message that early learning and care is a key priority for you and should be for them.