New approach to family day care promised under Labor

Family Day Care providers in the Blue Mountains have been promised a new approach to compliance that is less adversarial and more consultative under a Shorten Labor government.

Family day carer, Michelle Tregilgas with Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman and shadow assistant minister for schools, Andrew Giles.

Family day carer, Michelle Tregilgas with Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman and shadow assistant minister for schools, Andrew Giles.

Federal Member for Macquarie, Susan Templeman, said while making sure providers are following the rules, the changes will mean honest, quality day carers are not wrongly targeted.

“Currently, the government is using a very blunt compliance instrument,” said Ms Templeman.

“Families now have to meet a set of complex activity and income tests in order to qualify for the child care subsidy.

“If you do shift work or casual work it’s very hard to plan ahead and estimate your hours under the federal government’s rigid system.

“One of the particular benefits of family day care is the flexibility it offers. For many families doing long commutes, shift work or overnight work, it is their only option, but the government has set a low benchmark price of $10.90 per hour under the new scheme, regardless of the time of day children are cared for.”

Ms Templeman said the federal government’s one-size-fits-all approach had the potential to drive quality family day care providers from the system, further restricting access to families.

She recently visited Springwood family day carers Michelle and Mark Tregilgas, with shadow assistant minister, Andrew Giles.

“Family day care has a long history of delivering flexible and quality early learning options for local families who prefer a home based environment for their children,” Ms Templeman said. “Mark and Michelle epitomise that and it was a delight to see the educational opportunity the boys in their care receive.

“Hundreds of families in the Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury rely on quality family day care for their children’s early childhood education. 

“They deserve a system that supports them and the educators who provide high quality learning and development experiences, and that’s what we want to see.”