The Greens have backed a community call to retain free childcare in light of the Education Minister’s strongest indications yet that the government would revert back to a fee-paying model, potentially as early as next month.
Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens spokesperson for Education, said:
“Free childcare has been a huge step forward for access to childcare for families. It should be made permanent.
“The government may think it will save money by going back to the fee-paying model, but we know the social and economic benefits of free childcare are enormous.
“The economic impacts of COVID-19 are going to be felt for many months and years. People are doing it tough, and a return to fee-paying childcare now will only make things worse.
“The Minister should be looking at how to ensure ongoing access to free childcare, and options for expanded public operation of childcare, not doubling down on a return to fees that will once again prevent families from accessing childcare.
“Free childcare, hand-in-hand with a fair and decent wage for workers in the sector, benefits everyone.
“It’s time to recognise childcare as an essential service available to anyone who needs it, not just those who can afford it,” she said.