Families Punished In Budget Cut To Childcare Rebates

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12th May 2010, 12:32am - Views: 436
Families Punished In Budget Cut to Child Care Rebates:
Childcare Alliance

Australia's long day child care providers today said children and their cash-strapped families were the losers out of tonight's Federal Budget which saw the Government cut the Child Care Rebate by $300 per child per year.

The Childcare Alliance Australia (CAA), representing 70% of the long day child care sector and the staff who care for more than 400,000 young children, said working families will feel angry, hurt and abandoned by a government that that has moved to cut the Child Care Rebate.

"We were expecting to be told that families were to be compensated for the significant child care cost increases the Government will impose on them through the proposed COAG changes to staffing ratios," President-elect of the CAA, Ms Gwynn Bridge said today.

"Instead the Treasurer tries to fudge it by referring in his speech tonight to an 'increase' in to the Child Care rebate. It is a cut to the rebate. He has tried to mislead parents as he was really referring to the 30-50% increase in the CCR put in place two years ago.

There was no additional money at all for working families in with children in child care in this budget, only a cut that will force struggling families and their children out of quality early learning programs altogether.

The Government says only 3% of families go over the cap set in the budget at $7,500 per annum per child. But in a long day child care centre in Port Hedland, Western Australia, of the 69 families attending, 60 were already forced over the cap.

"To say families will be hurt and feeling duped is an understatement," says Ms Bridge.

Families already face an increase of $13-$22 a day per child because of the Government's well meaning but ill conceived national Quality reforms that are being rammed through.

"Not only is the Government not going to compensate families, they are punishing them further." To assist working families the Government must increase the payment of the child care rebate to weekly in arrears and increase the child care benefit and double it for the 0-3 years age group. It will need to do this before the next Federal election if it is to avoid a sustained backlash by angry parents.

Also parents will be bitterly disappointed and confused as to why the Government is spending about $100 million on administration and red tape supporting more red tape and administration and not on families.

"This is a slap in the face for working families and for those whose children need and want to have access to quality early learning programs but now never will," said Ms Bridge.

ENDs

Media inquiries: Ms Gwynn Bridge, who is also the President of Childcare QLD, can be contacted today on: 0418 764 779.

The contact details for other state representatives are listed below. Alternatively, you can contact Ms Jannette Cotterell. Managing Director. Executive Counsel Australia 02 6198 3279 or 0419 204 059

Media Enquiries: Childcare Alliance Australia (CAA)
ACT & QLD Gwynn Bridge - 0418 764 779
VIC Lucian Roncon - 0419 004 800
NSW Lyn Connolly - 0425 225 275
WA - Roslyn Thompson - 0407 652 177

SOURCE: Childcare Alliance Australia (CAA)

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