The Federal Government is projected to spend $7.7 billion on the Child Care Subsidy this year. This funding is to support families meet the costs of child care and early education – not for providers to give away in a mad scramble to increase enrolments.
Recent reports have highlighted the alarming lengths which some child care and early learning centres are willing to go to in order to secure enrolments in their centres. Some examples of the inducements being offered include holiday packages in resorts, cash refunds, and free iPads. Labor does not believe this in an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.
If elected, Labor will ban providers from offering any goods, services or activity that is unrelated to the delivery of early childhood services to incentivise parents and carers to enrol their child in a centre.
Under Labor’s policy, families and educators will be able to confidentially notify the Department of Education and Training of any incentives or behaviour which they suspect is an inappropriate inducement. Any provider found to be offering such inducements will have their licence to receive the Child Care Subsidy revoked.