The NSW government is promising to drive down childcare costs and increase the number of places by spending $5 billion on the sector over the next 10 years.
- The government has locked in a $775 million commitment over the next four years
- Subsidies will be given to private childcare providers, with the intention of lowering fees
- The government is also allocating $281 million in an attempt to increase the childcare workforce
Treasurer Matt Kean is labelling today’s announcement as a “landmark investment” that will save families thousands of dollars and increase female workforce participation.
The government has locked in a $775 million commitment over the next four years.
That funding has been included in next week’s state budget, after it was recommended by the government’s Women’s Economic Opportunities Review.
“Childcare costs impede the dreams of women across NSW because many women are only able to keep about 30 cents in each dollar they earn when they return to work,” Mr Kean said.
Under the plan, the state government will give subsidies to private childcare providers, with the intention of lowering fees.
The money will be given to ensure some childcare spots will be set at certain prices.
Parents will still be eligible for the Commonwealth subsidy, which is set to change under the new Labor government.
“This investment, delivered alongside the Commonwealth’s childcare reforms, is expected to see up to 95,000 women enter the workforce or take on more hours, driving down the gender workforce participation gap by up to 14 per cent within a decade,” Mr Kean said.
The Treasurer claims the changes will mean a middle-income Sydney family with one child in full-time child care in a state government-subsidised centre is expected to save up to $3,900 a year, while the saving in regional areas is predicted to be up to $7,800 a year.
The state government says accessibility will also be improved by funding going to expanding childcare centres and building new ones in areas most in need.
“We are going through a time where it is becoming even more challenging for young families to balance work and family life,” Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
“And a lot of that is attributed to the fact that many young families can’t get access to childcare places, and the cost of childcare is too high.”
National research released early this year by Victoria University showed there was a significant lack of childcare places in some parts of Sydney’s south-west and west as well as regional and remote areas.
The government is also allocating $281 million in an attempt to increase the childcare workforce.
Scholarships of up to $25,000 will be offered to study child care at university and $2,000 for vocational education.
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