Senate debates

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Questions without Notice

Child Care

2:44 pm

Photo of Simon BirminghamSimon Birmingham (SA, Liberal Party, Minister for Education and Training) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Gichuhi for her question and her continued interest in the wellbeing of so many Australian families who are reliant upon our childcare system. I am very pleased to say that around one million Australian families are benefiting as a result of the Turnbull government's work in investing in around $2½ billion extra into our childcare services to make sure that families are able to access child care without undue costs or undue barriers. Indeed, many Australian families are now making the decision to work an extra shift, to work an extra day, because they're getting more support out of the childcare subsidy. Many families are able to now plan their family budget and their working plans throughout the course of the year, knowing that they won't run out of childcare support midyear, as was the case under the old childcare rebate, where tens of thousands of families throughout the months of February, March, April, May and June would find that their childcare support was just cut off because it had been capped; whereas families earning less than around $186,000 a year find they have no cap under our new childcare subsidy arrangements.

Families have the opportunity—they have had cost-of-living pressures eased in the budget because of these changes, many to the tune, on average, of around $1,300 per child per annum. Think about an Australian family with a child in child care getting that additional benefit during the course of the year, coming on top of the extra tax benefit they receive from the Turnbull government's tax reforms, coming on top of the stronger economy that's making their jobs more secure. This is a circumstance where families can have the confidence that they absolutely have—additional financial support, additional financial means, additional capacity to be able to work the hours and days that suit them without childcare costs being an impediment.

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