Time for Parliament to back our early childhood education and care reforms
- Minister for Education and Training
Australian families know the current early childhood education and care system is broken.
Now is the time for all Members of Parliament to work with the Turnbull Government to pass our reforms that will make the system more affordable, accessible and fairer.
As fees and expenses put early childhood education and care increasingly out of reach for many families, it’s time for Parliament to act.
The reforms that will be voted on this week remove the $7,500 rebate cap for low and average income earners, better target support to families earning the least and working the most and introduce an hourly fee cap to put downward pressure on fee increases.
Our reforms also include measures to encourage workforce participation, stronger compliance powers to further stamp out rorting, more flexibility for the hours child care centres open and additional investment for services to support children from disadvantaged backgrounds or with additional needs such as disability.
We’ve put in the time to consult with experts, get input from the Productivity Commission and three Senate inquiries to design reforms that will benefit around one million families and boost early learning opportunities and our reforms are the most significant in 40 years.
Based on Bill Shorten’s comments earlier this week, Labor should back our reforms but given they appear to be crab-walking away from his unconditional support, given as recently as Sunday, the Turnbull Government will continue discussions with all Senate colleagues.
“I make this invitation very clearly to Mr Turnbull. We will vote to improve the deal for child care, absolutely, so long as he drops his cut to family payments.”
- Bill Shorten, Doorstop interview, 19/3/2017
Parliament has the opportunity to step up to the plate and provide more effective and better targeted support for Australian families - every Member of Parliament should support these improvements.