Hamilton Stone directors Lisa Fenn and Ian Holland were pleased to be involved in the important discussion about costs and funding of child care. Our research, reported in the Canberra Times, showed that cost increases have disproportionately affected low income families while child care workers' pay remains significantly below average. With reform proposals currently before Parliament, we continue to work on this.
Our research showed that out-of-pocket childcare costs of Australian families had risen sharply between 2011 and 2016. As the graph shows, the rise is very high in the ACT.
If we want wages of childcare workers to reflect their skills – and the importance of what they do – it would seem costs will rise further.
A package of reforms was considered by Parliament during 2017, and from July 2018, there’ll be a new Child Care Subsidy replacing the current Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate. The new subsidy will be paid directly to services and there are also changes to the annual cap.
We’re hoping that these changes will make childcare more affordable and we look forward to reviewing the impact.