SNAICC – National Voice for our Children has developed a wealth of experience over the past few decades on understanding the issues of our children, families and communities, and gathering both literature and experience based evidence on the needs of children and the strategies that work to improve their outcomes. SNAICC has strong relationships at community, state and national levels. We are active in supporting and advocating on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, and bring the experiences of services throughout the country to this submission.
As the Jobs for Families Child Care amendments proposed in the Omnibus Bill are predominantly the same as those proposed under the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Jobs for Families Child Care Package) Bill 2016, SNAICC’s key concerns and recommendations remain the same.
SNAICC recognises the early childhood sector is desperate for the reforms to be passed to ensure that families are receiving adequate supports for childcare. SNAICC wholly supports a better system being implemented. However, it is unnecessary to couple child care reforms with other measures and detracts from the critical importance and value of quality early childhood education and care services. From the outset the design of the Jobs for Families Child Care package included changes that would inadvertently reduce the access of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families to quality early childhood education and care. For over a year SNAICC has repeatedly outlined a pathway for making minor amendments to the Jobs for Families Child Care package to ensure that the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are captured in these essential reforms.