Updated January 26, 2018 07:55:00More than 20,000 Australians were told on Monday that they are now eligible for free childcare under the Turnbull government’s “First in, first in” childcare package, with the majority of childcare providers receiving some form of support.
Key points:The Turnbull government announced the scheme on Monday, which includes up to four hours of free childcare per day to families earning up to $25,000The scheme is aimed at “drastically reducing” childcare costs, with childcare payments being slashed for families earning between $20,000 and $50,000As part of the childcare scheme, all eligible families will receive up to two hours of childcare a day and childcare payments will be reduced for families in the $20 to $50 bracket.
Under the scheme, eligible families in each of the following bracket ranges will receive between $25 and $25.50 per day:Parents earning between the $25 to $35 bracket will receive $25 childcare per child.
Parental payments will also be reduced by $5 for parents earning $35 to $45 per child and $10 for parents in the range $45 to $60 per child, or $20 per child for parents with an income of $70,000.
The government said childcare payments for families living in the “lower” income bracket will be halved to $15.
Children in the lower income bracket are eligible for a “free” period of childcare from the age of six, but there will be no childcare assistance.
The “free-for-all” scheme has been criticised by social workers, who warned that it would encourage more families to leave home and become more dependent on their parents for financial support.
The scheme will be rolled out over three years and includes a free childcare allowance for all eligible parents with incomes of up to or above $60,000 per year.
The Government has not provided an estimate for how much of the funding will be spent on childcare, and how much will be allocated to parents with lower incomes.
“We want every Australian to be able to access the most cost-effective childcare available and we have introduced a childcare support package that includes free childcare,” a spokesperson for Minister for Families and Youth Christopher Pyne said in a statement.
The spokesperson said the scheme would provide “dramatically reducing” the cost of childcare for families at the “lowest” income brackets.
“The free childcare will also help provide a better start for families with children from the ages of two to six years old, and will also encourage more Australians to start their own families.”
Mr Pyne promised to introduce “significant” changes to the scheme when he took over as prime minister on August 30, but so far he has not announced any changes.
In his first months in office, the Turnbull Government has made a number of changes to childcare policies, including extending the time to access childcare to two weeks for couples and one week for single parents.
Under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the scheme has also been extended to cover “a wider range of families” and will provide up to five hours of “free childcare” per day for single and couple parents in each bracket.
“Free childcare for parents of children aged two to four years old has been expanded to include a range of family types, including parents with children in care, family carers, parents in employment and those with disabilities,” the Department of Families and Children said in an official statement.
“This is a significant change to the existing childcare support arrangements which was introduced in 2016, and provides greater access to the most affordable childcare available to families with small incomes.
The Department of Family and Community Services (DFCS) is committed to providing high-quality, high-impact childcare for all families in Australia, and supports the families that rely on it.”ABC/AAPTopics:family-and-children,counselling,childbirth,education,health,families,education-and,careers,children,government-and%E2%80%93-%E3%83%BC,government—politics,government–in-charge,national-parliament,australiaFirst posted January 25, 2018 08:54:00