The Abbott Government has introduced the new Childcare package this week aimed at getting stay at home parents (not just mothers) that is worth $3.5 billion that is aimed of returning parents to work sooner rather than later. Families up to $165 000 will receive a $30 increase in their home budgets. However this new childcare package is tied to Family Tax Benefits including stopping payments to families when their child turns six of age.
Once again the government is using Childcare is as a Economic machine and not as it should be as a important educational stage for young children. This package is designed to push poorer families into work quicker and making them uncomfortable leaving their child in care earlier than they wish to. It is clear that the Abbott Government does not view Childcare or as it should be called Early Childhood Education as a valuable and important part of a child’s life. It is simply a place to put children in and increase the revenue taxation of the government.
Scott Morrison the minster for Social Services says that he doesn’t want to “tax Peter, Paul and Mary to support new investment” however they are clearly happy to remove payments and add unnecessary pressure on families who are already feeling the heat from low incomes. Stay at home parents who have partner who earns more than $65 000 will lose all childcare benefits. Now if you half that amount for two people and half it again with two children, that amount is close to what you would receive on unemployment payments. That’s the type of families the Government wishes to target for their savings.
What measures that need to happen is increasing the funding of more early childhood education places for children and to give the choice to stay at home parents and working parents. Increased funding for pay rises to Educators and centers to bring most of them to a good standard where parents do not have to worry about the standards of different centers when searching for one. The ultimate goal would be to have Early Childhood Education as the third pillar of total and free education with Primary school and High School but the idea and the budget of this would scare most Treasurers and governments away from it. It is important to help parents ease back into the work force but when the time is right for them. With a already pressured and low job creations in Australia forcing parents to possibly return to a bleak environment and punishing them at the same thing doesn’t make sense.