The Federal Member for Macarthur, Dr Mike Freelander MP, has described the Morrison Government’s childcare plans are ‘messy’ and without prioritising those who need it most.
Dr Freelander believes that that the Morrison Government has again missed an opportunity to provide long sought and strongly needed reforms to the childcare sector, which would also provide a significant boost to the participation of women in the workforce.
“This shouldn’t be a political football; however, my Labor colleagues and I have called for childcare reform for nearly a decade now, yet the Federal Government only now begins to show signs of acknowledging the problem.”
The Member for Macarthur states that whilst any assistance is better than nothing, it is nowhere near the level of reform and support that Labor, childcare centres, Australian families and economists have long called for.
In comparison, Dr Freelander states that under Labor’s Cheaper Child Care Plan, the taper rate is smoothed across the board and the subsidy is lifted; regardless of how many children a family has or how old they are. This will ensure that 97% of families are better off, which is arguably a far better and more equitable plan.
“Our Cheaper Child Care Plan has been designed after careful research and deliberation with those who are affected most, Australian families and childcare centres. I firmly believe our Plan provides the support and reforms that are required and reach nearly 100 per cent of Australian families in the system.
Under the Liberal’s plan, three quarters of these same families will miss out on any increase in their childcare subsidy. Simply put, under Labor’s plan, more families and more childcare centres are covered whereas under the Liberal’s, they are excluded and miss out”.
Dr Freelander is well aware of the importance of implementing education in the early years of childhood, as he introduced the ‘First 1000 Days’ policy proposal after being elected in 2016.
The Member for Macarthur’s proposal would focus on developing a comprehensive Australia wide policy for child health and development to deliver the best possible outcomes for all Australian children regardless of socioeconomic status, postcode or racial background.
The two focus areas of this being health and education.
Dr Freelander adds the importance of caring for children with special needs too.
“Labor’s childcare policy very importantly will provide support for children with special needs no matter their parents economic status, and very importantly, addresses the issues of early intervention as the best management of children with special needs.”