Tuesday, 12 February 2019
In Home Care Program
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) changes to the In Home Childcare Program, including to the hourly rate cap, have had the unintended consequence of leaving hundreds of families with complex childcare needs without affordable childcare which affects their ability to work, attend medical appointments and respite,
(ii) this group includes parents and carers with significant medical problems, including terminal illness and mental health issues, as well as children with developmental delays and severe disabilities, and
(iii) although some of these families have transitioned to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, many have not;
(b) recognises that, although there were problems with the In Home Childcare Program, some families with complex needs are facing a childcare crisis as a result of the changes;
(c) further notes that numerous providers have been forced to close as a result, and a large number of carers have been left without job; and
(d) calls on the Federal Government to provide emergency funding for sufficient childcare subsidies to high-needs families affected by the change and to provide a long-term solution to this issue.
I seek leave to make a short statement.
I brought this motion forward to draw the parliament's and the minister's attention to this important issue. Changes to the subsidy to the hourly rate of in-home child care now means that high-needs families are unable to get the child care they need to attend medical appointments, receive respite and go to work. Service providers are leaving the industry and carers are losing their jobs. As noted in the motion, we should recognise that although there are problems with the in-home childcare program some families with complex needs are facing a childcare crisis as a result of the changes. Some changes have been made, but they are not enough. I urge the government to take concrete action on this.
The government does not support this motion. The government has increased the in-home care hourly rate to $32 per hour, which equates to $38.40 per hour for families eligible for the additional childcare subsidy. The government has also increased the number of places available by 200 places nationally, effective from 1 January 2019.