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Election 2016: $185m nanny program only helps 60 families.

The Government has broken its promise to make child care more affordable for Australian families, Labor says.

The Turnbull Government was forced to overhaul its $185 million nanny trial, which has seen nanny subsidies paid to just 60 families, according to a Fairfax report.

The families were paying an average of $35 an hour for the care.

Shadow Education and Early Childhood Minister Kate Ellis said the Government was out of touch when it came to childcare needs.

“This is not the solution for the majority of Australian families,” she said.

“When we have a look at the cost of a nanny, even with these subsidies, when we’re talking about costs of $35-an-hour, then clearly that is more than most families earn in an hour and that’s not the solution for them.”

The nanny pilot was designed to provide childcare for people who work non-standard hours, or live in regional or remote areas.

The Government planned for up to 3,000 families to use this subsidised care. But so far only 60 families with 140 children have used nannies for an average of 20 hours a week.

Ms Ellis told ABC’s Barrie Cassidy on the Insiders program the Government was not sticking to its promises for affordable child care for all families.

“It’s a pretty clear example yet again of just how out of touch the Government are that they expect that this program is going to help your average family when families are being asked to pay $35 an hour for a nanny,” she said.

She claimed half of Australian families with an income of under $65,000 would be no better off under the Government’s proposed package.

“Evidence shows that where child care subsidies make the biggest difference in workforce participation is at the lower end of the income scale,” Ms Ellis said.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham told Fairfax the nanny trial was in its “early stages”.

“Matching of families in the pilot program with appropriate nannies is underway and will continue over coming months,” he said.

“We are committed to delivering additional flexibility to more Australian families — the pilot will help us to learn more about how best to structure longer-term support and engagement.”

The Government will also spend almost $800,000 to evaluate the nanny program.
This post originally appeared on ABC News.

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