House debates

Monday, 26 October 2020

Statements by Members

Child Care

4:03 pm

Photo of Tim WattsTim Watts (Gellibrand, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Communications) Share this | | Hansard source

Raising young children can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling parts of life, but it's also one of the most challenging things that you can do, especially if you're trying to juggle being a parent with also having a career. Governments should back in parents who try to make this work, and that means universal affordable child care. As an MP with two young children, I know that my family has leant heavily on child care in my community to enable me to do my job, but I also know that, all too often, it's women in families that end up having to take on the bulk of care-giving responsibilities and whose employment ambitions suffer in the process. The cost of child care is often the biggest barrier to women returning to work after having children. This is made worse by the current system. Under the Morrison government's current childcare system, an average family loses money by choosing to work another day and add a fourth day of child care. For every dollar they earn on that extra day's work, they take home 4c.

Only Labor has a long-term plan to fix this, which the Leader of the Opposition announced in his budget reply address. Labor's childcare plan will help working women and working families in my electorate and around Australia. As my colleague the member for Kingston says, it's good for women, good for children and good for the economy. It's good for blokes too, I should say. Increasing participation in the workforce is fundamental to increasing economic growth in Australia. Increasing women's participation in the workplace by making child care more affordable will boost our GDP by billions of dollars. Everyone wins when government backs affordable, universal child care, and that's exactly what an Albanese Labor government will do.