The Australian Federal election is happening on 2 July…and we need your help to advocate for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The Jobs for Families Child Care Package has been introduced with the intention of creating a “…more affordable, flexible and accessible child care system…” however, evidence shows, this package will lead to significantly reduced participation in early learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing vulnerability.
There are 2 major changes proposed which significantly change how education services are provided:
- The Budget Based Funding (BBF) Program– the specific program designed for areas where a user pays model is not viable – will be abolished. 80% of families participating in BBF services fall within the lowest income bracket, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island children overrepresented among this population.
- Access to subsidised early childhood education and care (ECEC) services will be halved for children whose families earn less than $65,000 per annum (an estimated 78% of Indigenous children participating in the BBF program) and who don’t meet the ‘activity test’.
The consequences of these changes will be to tie quality early years education, to a child’s family’s income level and work status. As the Package is currently constructed:
- 46% of families in the lowest income bracket are eligible for less subsidised hours of childcare than they are currently attending with an average reduction of 13 hours per week.
- The average change in hourly fees is most extreme for families earning less than $65,000 per year due to the impact of the activity test. The average change in out-of-pocket costs for these families who are negatively impacted is $5.06 per hour.
As a parent, you know how critical these early years are for kids. We urge you to consider how the Jobs for Families Child Care Package will limit fundamental resources for families and children who would benefit from quality early years education and care the most.
We invite you to get in contact with us if you require more information or would like assistance with reaching out to your local Members of Parliament to advocate to amend this legislation.