Thursday, 27 February 2020
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) it is women who remain disproportionately more likely to arrange childcare and are assessed under the Government's 'activity test' to access childcare support, and
(ii) under the government's 'activity test', only parents who undertake approved courses of education or study meet the activity test requirements;
(b) considers that:
(i) it wrong that parents studying Masters degrees or PhDs that are not approved by the government do not meet the activity test requirements, and
(ii) this discriminates against women participating in education; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to extend eligibility for childcare support to all parents undertaking education or study.
The childcare subsidy is available to all families where both parents meet the activity test and other eligibility requirements. To satisfy the activity test, a parent can be working, studying, training, volunteering or working in a family business. The study can be any TAFE course and any approved university course and includes bachelor's degrees, master's degrees and PhDs. It also includes contact hours, self-directed hours and travel time. Supporting parents with child care whilst studying master's degrees and PhDs already exists, and it is part of the record investment of $8.6 billion that this government is spending to support families with child care.