Children in the Northern Territory are set to suffer from the lack of commitment to early education from the Turnbull Government.
It was recently revealed by the Turnbull Government’s own secret hit list that over 1,345 families in the Solomon electorate and 579 in the Lingiari electorate will be worse off under the Government’s new child care package come July 2.
This is bleak news across the whole NT with over 1,920 families worse off a result of the Turnbull Government’s unfair child care package. This is one in five families in the Territory worse off.
This uncertainty to families and access to early education is on top of the 18 per cent growth in fees (to March 2017) since the election of the Liberal Government in 2013 which means families are on average paying over $2,000 more a year.
There are 279,000 families around Australia who will be worse off under the Liberals new package.
The evidence is clear that children do better in life with access to early education. However, the Turnbull Government does not believe these opportunities should exist to those families who least can afford it.
This is extremely worrying news as most of the families who stand to be worse off are families in the lowest income cohort – that is families who have a family income of less than $65,710.
The news for Indigenous families in remote and rural NT isn’t any better.
The Liberal Government is refusing to confirm funding from July this year for remote child care and mobile playgroup services. There are 33 of these services in the Territory that provide vital access to early education for Indigenous families.
Now these families will also face uncertainty about how their children will access education and care. This uncertainty was only worsened last month by the Government’s decision to only provide another 12 months of stop-gap funding for preschool – leaving families in the dark about whether they will have universal access to preschool in 2020.
If the Turnbull Government was serious about supporting Australian families they wouldn’t be rubbing their unfair policies in the face of those families who are already struggling to get by.
Labor has a proud record in early education and child care reform, including;
- Reducing the financial burden of child care on families with increases to the child care rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of out of pocket costs
- Increased the child care subsidy to $7,500
- Invested $970 million to create universal access to preschool for 4 year olds in partnership with the States and Territories