Labor promises families cheaper child care

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Goodstart Ocean Keys centre director Christine Kirby, Labor’s candidate for Pearce Tracey Roberts, the Opposition’s Early Childhood Education and Development spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth and Goodstart Tapping centre director Claire Stannard on Tuesday. Picture: Anita McInnes

FEDERAL Labor says its plan to lift the child care maximum subsidy rate will result in cheaper child care for about 7900 families in Pearce.

This week Labor said out-of-pocket child care costs were out of control for Perth families under the Morrison government with ABS CPI figures showing over the twelve months to March the average cost of childcare in Perth rose by 7.9 per cent.

The cities with the next highest rises were Darwin with 4.5 per cent and Brisbane with 4.4 per cent while the national average was 4.2 per cent.

On Tuesday Labor’s candidate for Pearce Tracey Roberts visited Goodstart Early Learning Ocean Keys in Clarkson with the Opposition’s Early Childhood Education and Development spokeswoman Amanda Rishworth.

Mrs Roberts and Ms Risthworth said an Albanese Labor government would lift the child care maximum subsidy rate to 90 per cent for the first child, meaning 96 per cent of families using child care would be better off.

The examples provided to Yanchep News Online said typical families who are users of the child care system would be from $1345 to $3887 a year better off under Labor’s plan.

Labor’s plan for cheaper child care says: “We’ll also get the ACCC to design a price regulation mechanism to drive out of pocket costs down for good, and the Productivity Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of the sector with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families.

“Labor will also develop and implement a whole of government Early Years Strategy to create a new integrated approach to the early years and develop a program of action.

“Labor will invest about $5.4 billion to make child care cheaper, starting from July 2023.’’

Part of an earlier online version of the Liberals Accessible and affordable child care plan.

An earlier online version of the Liberals Accessible and affordable child care plan said since the Coalition government introduced its child care package in July 2018, out of pocket costs, had risen, on average, by just 1.2 per cent a year but those comments have since been removed.

On Friday Liberal candidate for Pearce Linda Aitken said the issue of child care fees had not been coming up a lot and was not one of the top issues being raised with her.

ABS CPI data also noted that child care was unchanged in the March quarter as increased child care fees were offset by the recent introduction of additional child care subsidies for families with two or more children under the age of six.

The ABS CPI date said the policy came into effect part way through the quarter and therefore would also affect the June 2022 quarter.