politics

No fees and more support: Exactly where the major parties stand on childcare.

To keep up to date with the federal election campaign as we head to the polls to vote on May 21, visit our election hub page. There you'll find analysis, explainers and all the results of our Mamamia Votes survey. 

With the cost-of-living rising, childcare remains a major issue affecting Aussie families right now. 

Not only are parents reaching further into their pockets than ever before, but childcare costs are getting in the way of women's participation in the workforce.

So with the election just a few days away, it's no wonder childcare is a top issue on the minds of Aussies.

According to our Mamamia Votes Survey around 14 per cent of the over 5,000 people surveyed said childcare was one of the main issues affecting their decision at the polls.

Watch: Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese talks childcare on ABC's 7.30 report. Post continues below.


Video via ABC.

Here's a quick rundown on where the major parties stand on the issue.  

The Coalition. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Liberals have a "responsible and affordable policy" on childcare.

"What we don't do is go and promise the world when you know you can't pay for it. If you go to 90 per cent childcare for everybody that is a policy that all Australians are going to have to pay for," he said at the final leaders' debate last week.

If re-elected, the government will invest around $11 billion in child care during 2022-23.

Here's a look at their policies: 

ADVERTISEMENT
  • The Coalition have increased the subsidy rate by 30 per cent for second and subsequent children in a family aged five or under in child care, with the total capped at 95 per cent.
  • They have removed the annual subsidy cap of $10,655 for families earning over $190,015.
  • They will fund a further 20 childcare services in remote settings through the Community Child Care Fund as part of their commitment to closing the gap.
  • The party will continue to fund a childcare safety net for disadvantaged families, which currently supports 41,340 children by covering up to the full cost of full-time childcare.
  • They will set aside $19.4 million of the Community Child Care Fund to address service gaps in regional areas.

Labor. 

Labor say they plan to "fix Scott Morrison’s broken child care system" by investing $5.4 billion to make childcare cheaper, starting from July 2023.

Speaking to ABC's 7.30 report earlier this month, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese says Labor’s childcare policy will help grow the economy and boost women's participation in the workforce.

"If you remove the distortion which is there that stops women working a fourth or a fifth day, what you'll get is a growth in workforce participation, you'll get a growth in productivity and a growth in the economy as a direct result of that, which is why business are crying out for this area of reform."

Here's a look at some of their policies, which are set to make 96 per cent or 1.26 million families better off.

  • Labor will lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families for the first child in care and keep higher subsidy rates for the second and additional children in care.
  • They will increase child care subsidy rates for every family with one child in care earning less than $530,000 in household income.
  • Labor will extend the increased subsidy to outside school hours care.
  • Labor will develop and implement a whole of government Early Years Strategy.
  • The party will have the ACCC design a price regulation mechanism to reduce out-of-pocket costs.
  • The Productivity Commission will conduct a review of the sector, with the aim of implementing a 90 per cent subsidy for all families.
ADVERTISEMENT

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia's daily news podcast. Post continues below.

The Greens.

The Greens recognise childcare as "an essential public service" and want to make it free for everyone.

"Childcare is too expensive, which restricts women’s choices and puts families under financial pressure," said Greens Leader Adam Bandt, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Labor should learn the lesson of Medicare, once something is universal people love it and won’t let anyone take it away. We can do that with childcare."

Here's a look at what they're promising: 

  • The Greens will invest $19 billion over the next four years to ensure early childhood education and care is free and accessible for everyone.
  • They will extend universal access to early childhood education to 24 hours a week for three and four-year-olds.
  • When it comes to staff, they will ensure early childhood educators have well-paid and secure jobs.
  • The Greens will support First Nations community-controlled services.
  • The Greens will phase out for-profit early learning and ensure children have access to either a government-provided or not-for-profit service.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia. 

Do you have a baby or young children? Take this short survey now to go in the running to win a $50 gift voucher!