MACQUARIE FAMILIES SAVE ON CHILDCARE
Around 6000 families across Macquarie are benefiting from an average 14% reduction in childcare costs following the Albanese Government changes, according to the latest data.
Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said it’s part of a package of reforms to ensure families, especially women, can access affordable childcare when they need it.
“Fees are one part of the reforms we’ve done, but having enough workers is also a key problem. Pleasingly, the early childhood education and care sector has grown by more than 14,000 workers across the country in the last 18 months, with an additional 123,000 educators and teachers in the training pipeline, helping to alleviate the worker shortage.
“That’s been helped by our Fee-Free TAFE program for early childhood educators, with a Certificate III or Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care the most popular Fee-Free TAFE courses.
“When I visit local centres, there is typically at least one staff member who is studying fee free at TAFE and often several.
“For example, at Connect Child & Family Services centres there are 7 people are taking advantage of the fee-free courses across their five centres, including Ayla who I met at Hazelwood.
“So as well as starting to tackle the costs for parents, we’re making training accessible, and that’s going to make a significant difference in the workers the sector can access now and in coming years,” Ms Templeman said.
“But we know there is more work to do. I’ve heard a range of stories from parents in the Hawkesbury and Blue Mountains and the common issues we have seen is that families were doing it tough with fee increases, and a lack of availability across childcare centres in the electorate.”
The latest ACCC report we commissioned on the early learning sector confirmed that between 2018 and 2022 gross child care fees in Australia increased twice as much as the OECD average.
“For a family on average wages, with two children in centre-based day care full time, the report found that the net child care costs came to 16% of net household income, so no wonder parents are feeling the pinch,” she said.
“The report makes clear that the current cap on chid care fees, introduced by the previous government, is ineffective and needs to change.
“I recently held zooms to hear directly from parents about early childhood education costs. I encourage parents to provide feedback and make a submission on the ACCC’s draft findings so the experiences of Macquarie families are heard.”
THURSDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2023