The struggle to secure early education and care places has been completely ignored by the Liberals.
Many parents face long and frustrating waiting lists to access early education and care services – with the current arrangements limiting work options for parents.
This isn’t only a battle before children reach school. Parents needing Outside School Hours Care can face long waiting lists, and may even find that services simply don’t exist in their area.
Long waiting lists also drive up early education and care costs – locking low and middle income families out of high demand areas. They also lock vulnerable and disadvantaged children out of vital early learning, when they have the most to gain.
To help tackle waiting lists, Labor will:
- Invest $100 million over three years from 2017-18 so services in areas of very high demand can expand – creating more places where families need them. We will target areas of high or rapidly growing demand, with waiting lists in the local area, and priority will be given to community and not-for-profit services which would otherwise not be able to expand.
- Commit $63.2 million over three years from 2017-18 to establish or expand up to 1,200 Outside School Hours Care services. Grants of up to $50,000 will be made available. Services must be in areas of high demand, have waiting lists or be in areas where Outside School Hours Care is currently not available.
Families who rely on child care need a better deal now – and that's what Labor will deliver.
The Liberals have done nothing for 1,000 days in government other than make early education and care more expensive for families – and they have no plans at all to deal with waiting lists or expand Outside School Hours Care.
As well as tackling waiting lists, Labor will boost the Child Care Benefit by 15 per cent and increase the Child Care Rebate cap from $7,500 to $10,000 per child per year from 1 January 2017.
Labor’s plan for better early education and care is essential to a growing economy. It’s central to Labor’s plan for fairer growth, real jobs and greater opportunities.