Member for Willoughby Tim James has called on the NSW Labor Government to deliver Coalition reforms to make childcare and preschool more affordable and easier to access for Willoughby’s working parents rather than adding to the struggle caused by Labor’s cost-of-living crisis.
Mr James said the Minns Government should not attempt to use changes to federal childcare subsidies as a smokescreen to shortchange NSW parents.
“Even with the Commonwealth subsidies, access to childcare for thousands of families will be better supported with state funding and ripping that away would have a devastating effect on our local families” Mr James said.
“The evidence is clear that the first five years of a child’s life is critical for their social, emotional and cognitive development. That’s why the Coalition government invested record amounts in the early years, because we know how important it is to set kids on the right trajectory.”
“Our children deserve better than what Chris Minns and his team is offering.”
Image: Leader of the Opposition Mark Speakman, Shadow Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell and Member for Willoughby Tim James at Three Little Birds Early Learning Centre in Chatswood
Leader of the Opposition Mark Speakman said the Coalition Government committed more than $15 billion over 10 years to make early childhood education and care services more affordable and accessible for parents and carers. This included the $5 billion Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund and a year of free pre-Kindergarten for all children.
“The Minns Labor Government have to date been silent on this issue and have not committed to the rollout of the Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund, meaning there is no financial support flowing to families.”
“The Labor Party refused to match our support for working parents prior to the election and given their record for slashing cost-of-living programs the Government is laying the groundwork to cut this essential funding as well,” Mr Speakman said.
Shadow Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said that childcare costs act as a tax on working families with young children.
“Many women feel they can’t return to work, or have to work reduced hours, because of the barriers to accessing quality and affordable early childhood education and care near their home or work. Caring for children is the number one reason mothers say they are not working more,” Ms Mitchell said.
Labor have also only committed to 100 new preschools this term – one fifth of the 500 preschools the Coalition had earmarked – and won’t confirm a timeframe for delivering a year of free pre-Kindergarten for all children. They have also short-changed the early childhood workforce with a mere $22 million package, which pales in comparison with the $282 million that was being rolled out by the Coalition to support early childhood teachers and educators.