SNAICC appreciates the opportunity to provide information to the Senate Committee on the anticipated impact of The Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Bill 2015 on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. This Bill is a critical opportunity to improve affordability and access to quality early learning for all of Australia’s children, and particularly our most vulnerable. This is one of the most important legislative reforms to progress (or undermine) the Australian Government policy objectives to ‘Close the Gap in Indigenous disadvantage’.
While positive changes are incorporated within the Jobs for Families Child Care Package, SNAICC is deeply concerned that the package will lead to significantly reduced participation in quality early learning of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children experiencing vulnerability. It will also place the viability of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander services supporting these children under threat, along with the diverse outcomes across child, family and community wellbeing and productivity that they contribute to.
These concerns have been confirmed by Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) who recently conducted significant research pro bono for SNAICC on the impact of aspects of the Jobs for Families Child Care Package on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.