Bi-partisan agreement over childcare reforms moved a step closer this week. ALP leader Bill Shorten has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott declaring his parties support for changes to the existing means-testing, payment, and support available to parents.

The changes are likely to increase the amount of support available to parents, while also tightening the threshold for qualification.

The ALP has signalled it wants to make childcare more affordable for low and middle-income families.

The landmark agreement comes after intense negotiations between the government and Labour. Both parties are now seeking further information from Childcare groups.

And already the talks are signalling changes: Among them are new childcare pricing benchmarks and improved rebates for low and middle-income families; cuts to rebates to stay-at-home parents; and a willingness to align funding to workplace participation.

“Labor is willing to work with the Government on improving Australia’s child care system,” said Mr Shorten in a press release. “Labour’s priority is to ensure that families are better off and particularly to ensure that vulnerable and disadvantaged children are better off.”

But the policy changes are not a done-deal yet.

Labor is agitated by the suggestion that funding for the reforms will come from cuts to family tax benefits. The party stridently opposes the idea of children of unemployed parents being locked out of early learning.

However, the parties agree that the new policies should be supported by the twin foundations of workforce participation and the best interests of the children.

About The Author

Someone you can depend on to respect you and care for your dog. Let me help you give your dog the life it deserves.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.