News National Families will lose in childcare package: report

Families will lose in childcare package: report

Child care
Parents are worried about the future of child care. Photo: Getty
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Modelling from the Australian National University (ANU) claims one in three families will be worse off under new government changes to child care.

Commissioned by Early Childhood Australia, the report will be presented at the Senate inquiry into the Jobs for Families package on Friday.

The inquiry will consider the introduction of an activity test for families to qualify for subsidised child care hours.

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The Jobs for Families package dictates parents will need to undertake at least eight hours of work-related activity to qualify, but there are concerns those who can’t make the hours will have their children pushed out of child care.

The ANU modelling tells a very different story to the government’s prediction that 184,000 families will be worse off under the July 2017 changes, instead claiming as many as 330,000 families will be penalised.

It did however find 700,000 families would be better off under the new model.

“We are pleased that the majority of working families will be better off under this package but we are concerned about the high number of children that potentially will miss out altogether,” the CEO of Early Childhood Australia said.

“The children that we are particularly concerned about, and the reason we commissioned this work in the first place, are the ones that are potentially pushed out of early learning because their families, for one reason or another, won’t meet the activity test.”

The ANU modelling used Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data to compare the existing scheme with the government’s proposed changes.

The new package will offer low income families 12 hours of subsidised child care per week, but Early Childhood Australia is pushing for 18 hours for children under three years old.

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