One in three families will be worse off because of the Federal Government’s planned changes to child care, according to Australian National University (ANU) research.
The research was commissioned by Early Childhood Australia and will be presented this morning at a Senate inquiry into the Jobs for Families package.
The Senate’s education committee is examining the Government’s proposal to streamline childcare subsidies and introduce a new activity test.
The ANU modelling used Australian Bureau of Statistics data to compare the existing scheme with the Government's proposed changes.
It found, overall, more than 700,000 families would be better off or maintain the same level of Government support.
But the report's author, Ben Phillips, said he found 330,000 families would be worse off.
"Of those, about 150,000 would lose as a result of the tighter activity test, so parents would now need to be working at least eight hours a fortnight to receive any subsidies, and many families don't," Mr Phillips said.
Early Childhood Australia CEO Samantha Page said the findings in relation to the activity test were concerning.
"We are pleased that the majority of working families will be better off under this package but we are concerned about the high number of children that potentially will miss out altogether," she said.
"The children that we are particularly concerned about, and the reason we commissioned this work in the first place, are the ones that are potentially pushed out of early learning because their families, for one reason or another, won't meet the activity test.
"It's really important that very young children, if they're going to attend early learning services, have a continuity of access and aren't in one minute and out the next."