Childcare fees to rise by 30 per cent, predicts Department of Education

Labor has not ruled out supporting means testing the childcare rebate, with spokeswoman Kate Ellis saying the Opposition is in favour of reforming the sector to improve “access, affordability and quality”.

Ms Ellis was responding to figures from the Department of Education, which is predicting fees could increase by 30 per cent over the next four years.

The report in News Corp said childcare prices were forecast to increase by seven per cent each year.

Ms Ellis said the predicted increases would stop some parents from being able to afford childcare and prevent mothers from re-entering the workforce.

When asked if it was time to means test the childcare rebate, Ms Ellis did not rule out the idea.

“Look I think we would all support reform of our childcare system to improve access, affordability and quality of the sector,” she told reporters in Adelaide.

But she said the Abbott Government did not have any solutions and called on the Coalition to release the Productivity Commission’s report into the childcare sector, which she said was handed to Treasurer Joe Hockey “many weeks ago”.

“The first step is to release that report and then we’ll be commenting on its findings,” Ms Ellis said.

Currently, parents can receive a maximum $7500 per year per child under the Child Care Rebate providing their child attends an approved child care service and the parents are in work, training or studying. The 50 per cent rebate is not income tested. 

The separate Child Care Benefit is means-tested and for families earning below approximately $100,000.

Ms Ellis said Labor had sought to make childcare more affordable by increasing the rebate from 30 per cent to 50 per cent during its last term in Government. 

She said in contrast, the Coalition had only offered “empty promises” and no solutions.

New Social Services Minister Scott Morrison will be in charge of carrying whatever reforms the Government decides to embark upon in the new year.

The Productivity Commission’s draft report released in July earlier this year said taxpayer funded childcare benefits for parents should be simplified into one means tested payment.

The Commission also recommended diverting some of the $5.5 billion dollars from Prime Minister Tony Abbott proposed signature paid parental leave scheme into childcare.

Mr Abbott has been under internal pressure to adjust his expensive paid parental scheme since surprising his partyroom with the policy inn 2010. Just weeks ago he signalled he would be restructuring the plan but gave no detail about the scale of changes involved.

Source Article from http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/childcare-fees-to-rise-by-30-per-cent-predicts-department-of-education-20141228-12el6o.html
Childcare fees to rise by 30 per cent, predicts Department of Education
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/childcare-fees-to-rise-by-30-per-cent-predicts-department-of-education-20141228-12el6o.html
http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?p=childcare
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results



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