Election 2016: Parents can’t wait anymore: Childcare groups unite to urge urgent action
Australia’s peak childcare bodies have joined together in an unprecedented bid to push childcare to the forefront of the election campaign, calling for an immediate boost in government support to help parents cope with rising fees.
With the Coalition’s $3 billion childcare package delayed until 2018 at the earliest, the groups are demanding an immediate increase to the Childcare Rebate cap from $7500 to $9000 a year to cover out-of-pocket costs. They also want a 25 per cent increase in the separate Childcare Benefit, which would see payments rise by $52 a week from the current $209.
Childcare is a sleeper issue in the election, with Labor yet to release its policy and the Coalition proposing a single new subsidy paid for by separate cuts to family payments.
Paul Mondo, secretary of the Australian Childcare Alliance, said the value of childcare payments had eroded significantly in recent years and was forcing some parents to delay returning to work.
“Parents cannot wait another two years for action,” Mr Mondo said.
Read more: SMH