Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP says access to childcare is a growing problem in the regions and Labor’s Childcare policy does nothing to address the issue facing Australian families, particularly in communities across Barker.
The Labor Government has unveiled their centrepiece childcare policy; $4.5 billion to increase subsidies and reduce the cost of childcare but Mr Pasin says any cost of living relief wont be felt until July 2023 and it won’t deliver a single additional childcare place.
“Labor’s policy doesn’t address workforce concerns, or the rising number of families stuck on waiting lists,” Mr Pasin said.
“Growing waiting lists and lack of workforce is something I have been hearing firsthand from the sector and desperate parents across Barker,” Mr Pasin said.
A third of Australian families live in a childcare desert. In Barker there are (on average) 4.3 children for every place available.
Mr Pasin said without additional measures to increase access, families will be unable to find places for their children, and parents unable to work.
Furthermore, Mr Pasin said he was concerned that Labor’s policy to expand the childcare subsidy eligibility would make the issue worse, putting further pressure on the early childhood education sector.
“By increasing the eligibility income cap to families earning $530,000 (up from $350,000), we are going to see more families want to access childcare, meaning waiting lists will grow,” Mr Pasin said.
“Labor are creating a wealth divide. Families living on the north shore of Sydney will now be subsidised for childcare while our regions are still struggling to boost workforce and increase availability for local families.”
“There are desperately needed nurses and teachers wanting to go back to work and can’t because of the lack of childcare,” Mr Pasin said.
“Any cost of living relief delivered by Labor’s childcare policy for families lucky enough to have access to childcare won’t be felt until July next year.
“We need a plan now to increase access and address the sectors concerns around workforce,” Mr Pasin said.
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