‘Families better off under Labor’s child care policy.’

In four days time the nation will vote on who will lead our country for the next three years.

(Well which party at least. We never quite know who the leader is going to be do we?)

One issue that might just decide it for hundred of thousands of Australians is the very issue that they juggle with daily – child care.

Figures out today based on modelling by the Australian National University  show large differences between the financial impact of the Coalition and Labor’s policies, depending on your household income.

sending child to childcare
Advocacy group The Parenthood commissioned the research. Via IStock.

The ANU analysis found that lower income families and those on very high incomes would be better off under Labor, while families with incomes between $110,000 and $150,000 would benefit under Malcolm Turnbull's policy.

Advocacy group The Parenthood commissioned the research to examine the combined impact of both parties' childcare policies and changes to family payments over 2017 and 2018.

Families on very low incomes would be up to $2395 better off a year under Labor than they would be under the Coalition, the modelling found.

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Executive Director of The Parenthood, Jo Briskey said that families would be disadvantaged by the Coalition’s childcare reforms in the 18 month delay in start date and proposed cuts to family payments the Coalition says are needed to pay for them.

“The reality is all families will be better off overall under Labor because their support for childcare costs come in from 1 January 2017 - a full 18 months before the Coalition plan to do anything,” Ms Briskey said.

The research found that families with incomes above $100,000 a year and paying high fees for full time childcare are much better off under the Coalition.

“Families under these scenarios would be as much as over $6,000 a year better off under the Coalition."Ms Briskey said.

 “But at the same time, a working family on $70,000 paying $80 a day for full time childcare will be over $1,200 a year worse off under the Coalition."

"All families will be better off overall under Labor." Via Getty.

ANU researchers Ben Phillips and Cukkoo Joseph studied a number of “typical family” types over the next two years, 2017-18 and 2018-19.

They looked at:

  • Two-parent family, both working, two children, one child in two days of long-day care, one child in primary school,
  • Two-parent family, both working, two children, one child in five days of long-day care, one child in primary school,
  • Two-parent family, at least one not working, two children, one child in two days of long-day care, one child in primary school (will fail the Coalition’s activity test),
  • Single parent, working, two children, one child in two days of long-day care, one child in primary school, and
  • Single parent, working, two children, one child in five days of long-day care, one child in primary school.

They found, for example that a two parent family with a combined income of $60,000 and a small child in long daycare for five days a week and another in primary school would be $1644 a year better off under Labor in 2018 if their centre charges $80 a day. The same family would be $1192 a year better off under the Coalition if their centre charges $120 a day.

Families at the same centre, earning a combined income of $150,000 a year, would be $4,743 a year better off under the Coalition.

Michelle Rowland, Labor's Shadow Minister for Small Business talks to Sky News about Labor's childcare policy. Post continues after video.

A single parent family with two children, one in daycare, one in primary school who pay $100 a day and earn $70,000 a year would be $146 better off under the Coalition, but if they paid $80 a day they would be $1,232 worse off under the Coaltion policy.

"We know parents want to make an informed decision when they go to the ballot box on Saturday - they want to be clear as to what their vote means for the issues that matter most to them” Ms Briskey said.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham. Via Twitter.

Education Minister Simon Birmingham told Fairfax Media said the ANU modelling was not an "official analysis".

"The Coalition's comprehensive reforms are fully funded and official department analysis shows our reforms will benefit around 1 million families who work or want to work more, and those families who earn the least," Senator Birmingham said.

"Last time Labor tinkered with childcare, fees grew at an average of 7.8 per cent per year and spiked up to 12.5 per cent."

While Labor education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said it was "more evidence" that families will be better off with Labor.

"Labor will increase childcare assistance immediately, not in two years' time, because we know that families have waited long enough."

But for The Parenthood, the findings clearly show that families will be better off under Labor.

"When you take into account the Coalition's plans for family tax benefit cuts, a large number of families using childcare, especially those on lower incomes, won't actually benefit from any increase in childcare subsidies."

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