Home News DELIVERING BETTER CHILD CARE FOR BALLARAT

DELIVERING BETTER CHILD CARE FOR BALLARAT

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Catherine King MP Member for Ballarat visits Ballarat Childcare facilitiy last Friday and engages with children Ryan, Rosalee and Leonardo at playtime.

A SHORTEN Labor Government will deliver child care support that is fairer and will make child care more affordable for families in the Ballarat electorate. The Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said Labor’s plan to make child care more accessible will give local parents the child care relief they need. “I’m really proud that Labor has listened to the parents of Australia and developed a policy that will come in from the 1st of January, 2017,” Ms King said. Under Labor’s plan: •Low and middle income families will benefit from an increase to the Child Care Benefit of 15 per cent. •Every one of the 813,000 families that rely on the Child Care Benefit will be better off – an increase up to $31 per child per week, or up to $1,627 per year, will provide much needed relief for the family budget. •The annual cap on the Child Care Rebate will be increased from $7,500 to $10,000 per child, leaving families up to $2,500 per child per year better off. •107,800 families who would otherwise reach the Child Care Rebate cap this financial year won’t have to choose between paying double fees, or dropping out of the workforce. “There are too many women in Ballarat whose pay packet is eaten up by the costs of child care and that’s why Labor’s plan is devised to take pressure off the family budget and help grow the economy by keeping more parents in work,” Ms King said.

“Improved child care is essential to a growing economy and it’s central to Labor’s plan for fairer growth, real jobs and greater opportunities,” she said. Ms King said Ballarat families who rely on child care need a better deal now. “While we work with experts and the sector to formalise the very best long-term reforms, Labor recognises that families need action and support now and they should not have to wait any longer,” she said. By boosting the current system Labor will ensure that all children continue to have access to two days of vital early education. Labor’s plan will also include:

•Cracking down on unjustified price increases – New transparency and accountability standards, along with extra powers to investigate unjustified price increases and stop price gouging.

•Supporting flexible Family Day Care – Investing an additional $50 million to support improvements to the Family Day Care system, including flexible options for families and enhancing the education, investigation and compliance programs.

•Better services for “While we work with experts and the sector to formalise the very best long-term reforms, Labor recognises that families need action and support now and they should not have to wait any longer,” she said. By boosting the current system Labor will ensure that all children continue to have access to two days of vital early education. Labor’s plan will also include:

•Cracking down on unjustified price increases – New transparency and accountability standards, along with extra powers to investigate unjustified price increases and stop price gouging.

•Supporting flexible Family Day Care – Investing an additional $50 million to support improvements to the Family Day Care system, including flexible options for families and enhancing the education, investigation and compliance programs.

•Better services for Indigenous children and children in remote areas – Increasing support for children in Budget Base Funded Services by 15 per cent, in line with the increase to the Child Care Benefit.

•Valuing our early education workforce $150 million investment towards developing the early education workforce – developing a new Early Years’ Workforce Strategy, and establishing a national Educator Professional Development Program.

Labor will also make submissions to the Fair Work Commission proceedings in support of professional wages for early childhood educators. Ms King said Labor has a proud history of early education reform.

“Early education and care isn’t a form of babysitting. It is critical for Ballarat parents and children,” she said.