When the Prime Minister stands up at 12.30pm today to deliver his much anticipated make or break National Press Club address there are two words every parent would like to hear him say: Child. Care.
Parents want to hear him announce that the federal government is going to redirect billions of dollars from the failed proposed paid parental leave scheme into the child care system for the one million families that utilise it every year.
They would like him to say that if anything is going to be “rolled gold” it should be the system that has been medically proven to benefit our children and helps parents for up to five years – not just six months.
The Prime Minister’s office has confirmed he is going to co-announce a “families package” and the postponement of his signature paid parental leave scheme today.
The long awaited families package is the result of the Productivity Commission (PC) into Early Learning conducted by the federal government in 2014.
Last year the PC recommended significantly paring back the Abbott PPL scheme and redirecting the money into childcare – to improve the system and get the best bang for government buck.
The PC said the money for the PPL scheme would be better spent on our childcare system because the policy “would have few incremental labour supply benefits.”
Getting rid of the PPL scheme is good policy – but only if the money is redirected to the child care budget.
Today should be a historic day for Australia. A day parents remember. A day we could all be proud of.