Working parent Members of Parliament now allowed to bring their children into the House.

Canberra is back to work today, with the first session of the House of Representatives getting underway just hours ago.

Among the first orders of business were changes to allow parents to take children in their care onto the floor of the House of Representatives.

Technically classed as ‘strangers in the house’, children, including babes in arms, have until now been banned from entering the Chamber. This left some parents, particularly mothers, in difficult circumstances choosing between voting on important legislation or caring for their children.

Just last year, Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer was told to express more milk for her baby to guard against missing critical votes in the House. On two occasions last year she missed business in the House, a division and a speaking obligation while caring for her newborn baby.

Kelly O'Dwyer and her daughter Olivia last year at Ms O'Dwyer's ministerial swearing in ceremony. Image via Getty.

Labor MPs Amanda Rishworth and Kate Ellis also had babies last year.

Christopher Pyne, the Liberal MP and Manager of Government Business, says the change makes the House the most family friendly parliament in Australia.

"I want to see as many women entering parliament as possible and for them to not be deterred by any antiquated rules or practices that currently govern how our Parliament operates”, Mr Pyne said.

The Manager of Opposition Business, Tony Burke said, "It’s extraordinary there was ever any controversy about this, it’s about time."

“There is absolutely no reason that rules should remain in place which make life in politics and the Parliament more difficult for women," Mr Pyne said in a statement.

“I encourage the Senate and all States and Territories follow our lead in these changes and that we all never stop looking for ways that we can encourage Australians from all walks of life to become involved in public life,” he said.