NSW government reveals $5 billion childcare plan in state budget

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.

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.

a man talking into microphones
Treasurer Matt Kean says the changes will help families save thousands of dollars.(AAP: Flavio Brancaleone)

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.

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