Women to kickstart Australia's economic recovery

Women are at the heart of Labor’s plan to kickstart the economy and get Australians back to work

An Albanese Labor Government will introduce the Working Family Childcare Boost to cut child care fees and put more money into the pockets of working families, straight away.

Child care fees in Australia are some of the highest in the world. Under this plan, Labor will:

  • Scrap the $10,560 child care subsidy cap which often sees women losing money from an extra day’s work;
  • Lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent; and
  • Increase child care subsidy rates and taper them for every family earning less than $530,000.

This means 97 per cent of all families in the system will save between $600 to $2,900 a year. No family will be worse off.

Importantly, Labor will keep working to fix Australia’s broken child care system, which currently locks out more than 100,000 families because they just can’t afford it.

The Productivity Commission will conduct a comprehensive review of the sector with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families.

The ACCC will design a price regulation mechanism to shed light on costs and fees and drive them down for good. The ACCC will also examine the relationship between funding, fees, profits and educators’ salaries.

Taxpayer dollars spent on child care should flow directly through to savings for Australian families.

The Coalition’s system has failed parents – particularly women. It has created a financial disincentive for many second wage earners to work full time, or even increase their hours.

On top of that, since this Government was elected in 2013, child care fees have skyrocketed by almost 35 per cent. Now, families pay on average $3,800 more per year.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Anthony Albanese:

“Working mothers should be able to afford child care for their kids. It’s as simple as that.”

“Women are the key to kickstarting our economy again. In the worst recession in a hundred years, we have to make sure women aren’t forced to choose between their family and their jobs.”

“We can’t just let fees and out-of-pocket costs keep skyrocketing. Only Labor has a plan to put more money in the family budget and help women get back to work, quickly.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Amanda Rishworth:

“The overwhelming evidence is clear: more women in the labour force is good for the economy, and quality early education is better for our kids.”

“Women aren’t working when they could, and families keep struggling to pay the bills. Labor’s Working Family Child Care Boost is an economic reform Australia desperately needs to create jobs.”

Background Information

  • Since March, 200,000 have lost their jobs and 110,000 women have left the labour force altogether. At the peak of coronavirus restrictions earlier this year, more than 1 million women had no work whatsoever.
  • Australia ranks 26 of 32 in the OECD for net childcare costs. In 2019, families spent 18 per cent of household incomes on early education and care.
  • Across Australia, 55 per cent of families make the choice between paying for groceries or childcare costs every week.
  • Data from the Department of Education proves there was a 4.6 per cent hike in fees and a 7.2 per cent jump in out of pocket costs in the 12 months leading into December 2019. At the same time, CPI only went up by 1.8 per cent.
  • Similar models from KPMG and the Grattan Institute predict the increased productivity of working mothers would provide an annual GDP increase of $7.5 billion and $10 billion.
  • KPMG’s model also estimates it would enable between 160,000 and 210,000 additional working days per week, which is equal to 30,000 to 40,000 full time jobs.