Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that the Greens will move amendments to the Government’s Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Cheaper Child Care) Bill 2022 today to:
- Improve access to early education and care by abolishing the Activity Test,
- Improve transparency measures within the bill by expanding reporting requirements for providers,
- Extend staff discounts for early education and care, and
- Rename the bill from ‘Cheaper Child Care’ to ‘More Affordable Early Education and Care’.
Senator Faruqi said:
“The Activity Test is cruel, punitive and beyond repair. As the Senate inquiry heard from numerous stakeholders, the activity test has the effect of denying access to early education for the most disadvantaged children and punishing families with insecure, casual work.
“We welcome new reporting requirements for large providers in the Bill but consider that these requirements should be expanded to cover all providers.
“The Senate inquiry heard that the language of “cheaper childcare” used in the bill could undervalue the role of educators. We agree and will move to rename the bill to refer to “more affordable early education and care”.
“The Greens believe early childhood education and care is an essential service that should be free and accessible for all. High quality early education can give children the best start in life and is a critical component of lifelong learning.
“While the Government bill does not go nearly far enough to achieve our vision of universal and free early education and care, the Australian Greens support the Bill as it nonetheless represents a step in the right direction.”