Just when you thought there weren’t already enough hurdles for mothers trying to get back into the workforce.
It may not have been so long ago Treasurer Peter Costello was urging us to have ‘one for Mum, one for Dad and one for the country’ but welcome to the whirling dervish world of child care in Australia 2015 – where the more kids you have, the more you are punished.
Reports today that the current ‘multiple children’ childcare payment for families with two or more children will be scrapped is just another slap in the face to parents in the paid workforce.
“But hang on, it was not supposed to be this way” I hear you say. That’s right, ladies. This was not the deal you signed up for (or in this case – voted for).
We were promised historic child care reform from the Government that would provide more places, more flexibility for parents and make it more affordable. The Government launched an enormous and extremely expensive Productivity Commission Inquiry for the purpose of making all things wonderful for childcare happen.
In reality, absolutely zero has been done and the child care budget has been shredded (because it is now contingent on being paid for with money that doesn’t exist yet).
Don’t believe me? Let’s recap.
The 50 per cent child care rebate that was available to every working parent has been abolished and replaced with a half-baked dodgy means tested subsidy that picks more winners and losers than a bad reality TV show.
The extremely popular, rolled-gold, signature paid parental leave scheme designed so “women of calibre” would not be “denied a career” has been ejected from Parliament House faster than a screaming toddler in a fancy restaurant.
The amount of subsidised childcare for children from low income families whose parents don’t work has been halved from two days per week to two days per fortnight. *This is a particularly disturbing change as quality child care for children from disadvantaged families provides huge benefits.