The facts about Australian Government assistance for child care
- Minister for Employment Participation
- Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care
Media reports today suggesting parents are being overwhelmed by massive fee increases in child care are factually incorrect.
The fact is parents pay less out-of-pocket-expenses for child care now than they did in 2004.
In fact, the Australian Government increased the Child Care Rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of all approved out-of-pocket child care expenses up to a maximum of $7500 per child per year.
The results of this means since 2004, out-of-pocket costs for families earning $75,000 have reduced from 13 per cent of their disposable income to 7 per cent in 2011.
Articles today report comments that Goodstart Early Learning stated if the Government had of implemented the new National Quality Framework immediately then it could have lead a 20 per cent fee hike for parents and put child care out of the reach of many parents.
That's exactly why the Government took deliberate action to phase in new quality standards over 10 years so that costs are mitigated and minimised over time. As no changes will come into affect 'overnight' at all, the statement is nothing more than a hypothetical reflection.
It's also the reason the Government is spending record amounts to help families out with the cost of childcare.
The fact is child care is more affordable than previously, and this is evidence by the fact there has been a 9 % increase in the past year in the number of children in child care, and families are accessing more hours of child care since we increased Government assistance.