Proposal backs short-term sublet of childcare places

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The Assistant Minister for Childcare said the commission’s recommendation to free up parents and childcare centres “really resonated” with her.

She cited the example of a father who was a fly-in-fly-out worker, who may want to take his children out of childcare for a week to spend time with them. “Doesn’t that make sense?”

The commission handed down its 900-page draft report into childcare and early childhood learning on Tuesday, with the broad aims of creating a more flexible and accessible sector.

Along with suggesting that extra funds for the Coalition’s controversial paid parental leave scheme be diverted into childcare, the report flags government support for nannies and grandparents and a single, means-tested childcare payment. The government set up the childcare inquiry after the federal election and a final report is due by the end of October.

While the government has been at pains to point out it cannot give a full response until it gets the final report, Ms Ley has still given some strong indications about in which direction the Coalition is leaning.

This week, the early childhood union, United Voice, rejected the commission’s proposal to remove the requirement for degree-qualified educations for children aged under three.

But Ms Ley said the Productivity Commission made a “good point”, arguing there was no doubt that formal qualification requirements were adding to childcare costs and that qualified staff may not be available.

She said she would wait for a separate report into the National Quality Framework (that sets standards for childcare) due at the end of the year, before reaching a position.

The commission also cautions against making childcare tax deductable – as this is not an “effective means of support for lower and middle income families” – but Ms Ley is holding the door ajar on the question, saying it would still be considered as “part of the overall picture”.

While Ms Ley said she did not have a “particular view” on it, she added that if childcare did become tax deductible, something would be needed to “balance it up” for those on lower incomes.

There is little appetite within the government, however, for adopting means testing for childcare payments.

“We have no plans to test the rebate,” Ms Ley said.

“Affordability is a problem at every income level.”

Reaction from elsewhere in the Parliament has been muted this week.

Palmer United Party leader Clive Palmer – whose party holds the balance of power in the Senate – said he had not yet read the report when he spoke to Fairfax Media on Thursday, although he appeared open to the idea of government-funded nannies.

The commission’s politically charged comments about the paid parental leave have also not re-stirred the Coalition’s internal revolt against the policy.

Liberal senator Cory Bernardi was pointed in his remarks more broadly about the report but would not comment specifically about paid parental leave.

“The Productivity Commission is always worth listening to, as they are an independent research and advisory body,” he said.

“Their work is to help governments make better policy in the interests of the Australian community. I see that as my role too.”

Labor is undertaking a review into its own social policies, including childcare. Opposition education spokeswoman Kate Ellis said Labor would examine the final report.

But she cautioned the government needed to guarantee that no family would be worse off under the reforms, given the Coalition has stipulated changes must come out of existing funding.

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Proposal backs short-term sublet of childcare places
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results
childcare – Yahoo News Search Results

カテゴリー: Childcare   パーマリンク


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