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Child care package bad for vulnerable families

Feb 17, 2016, 10:49 AM by Anglicare Australia

In its submission to the Senate inquiry into the Jobs for Families Child Care Package, Anglicare Australia urged the government to reconsider those parts of the Bill that will negatively impact on children in the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families.

“We recognise the significant investment into child care the package proposes,” Executive Director, Kasy Chambers said today,” and the benefit it will bring to many families.”

“However, the new provisions to reduce access to child care for families who fail to meet the activity test will put the most vulnerable children even further behind their peers.

“If these families fail to meet the activity test, their access to child care is at best reduced from 48 hours per fortnight to 24 hours per fortnight or at worst, completely removed.

“If our aim is to give every child a chance in society, this is a particularly bad decision.
“We understand that child care subsidies are not seen as a welfare payment by government, but what children learn and experience in their early years lays the foundation for their development and wellbeing for the rest of their lives.

“Access to early childhood education is vital for young people growing up in disadvantaged and low income families, and is thus a key part of Australia’s social safety net.

“While the Jobs for Families Child Care Package seems to meet the needs of many middle income families, it is our view the package risks penalising many of the marginalised families that our member agencies work with.

“Anglicare Australia calls on the Australian government to amend the Bill so that, at the very least, every child has access to two full days of child care (15 hours) each week.”