What We're Doing
Families in Higgins pay the highest childcare fees in the State . Costs have increased by 41% over the past 8 years. On July 1, legislation to change the Child Care Subsidy took effect, delivering Cheaper Child Care for around 1.2 million families across the country. Families can now calculate their Child Care Subsidy by visiting www.childcaresubsidy.gov.au
Who will benefit?
From July 2023, the Government will lift the maximum CCS to 90% for families with a combined income of under $80,000 with the CCS tapering out at a combined income of $530,000.
These changes will make childcare more affordable for around 4,400 families in Higgins that are using early education and care. We will keep higher Childcare Subsidy (CCS) rates for the second and additional children in care and extend it to outside school hours care.
For more details, go to https://www.alp.org.au/policies/cheaper-child-care
How are we going to address the workforce shortages?
This will be supported by the Government’s submission to the Fair Work Commission to consider increases for workers in female dominated industries. This includes:
- Making gender equity an express object of the Fair Work Act
- Introducing a statutory equal remuneration principle
- Establishing a Pay Equity Panel and a Care and Community Sector Panel to advise the Commission and Government about emerging workforce issues.
The care sector will benefit from the Government’s commitment to improve workforce supply through Fee Free TAFE; 20,000 additional university places; and the establishment of Jobs and Skills Australia to support workforce planning.
To attract and retain workers, the Government will give workers access to discounted fees for their own children.
How will we address runaway growth in fees?
The Government will use current mechanisms in the system to put downward pressure on fee growth, such as CCS hourly rate caps and the principle of co-contribution, which encourages consumers to price shop.
The Government has also announced the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will conduct an inquiry into child care prices. Findings will feed into the Productivity Commission’s broad review into early childhood education with the aim to provide a universal 90% CCS to all families.
Paid Parental Leave
On July 1, 2023, changes to paid parental leave took effect, meaning that:
- Over 180,000 families will benefit from the delivery of a single Paid Parental Leave scheme, with a flexible 20-week entitlement for working parents.
- Legislation has taken effect to increase the scheme to 26 weeks by 2026. A full six months.
- The reformed scheme will reserve a use-it-or-lose-it portion for each parent in order to incentivise uptake, but this will continue to be reviewed.
Family and Domestic Violence Leave
From 1 August 2023, around ten thousand small businesses in Higgins will benefit from a new right to access up to ten days of paid family and domestic violence leave. This change which brings small businesses in line with large and medium businesses – including casuals. This entitlement recognises that no one should have to choose between their safety and their pay. To assist small businesses with understanding their obligations to their employees, there are a number of resources that have been made available, including tailored supports and guidance on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website. The Government has also established a new podcast (available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and more) entitled “Small Business, Big Impact: How to support employees experiencing family and domestic violence”, and a website providing further information specifically for small businesses to assist employers with having conversations with employees who they suspect may be victims of domestic or family violence.
First Nations Family, Domestic, and Sexual Violence
The Albanese Labor Government is investing $15 million in First Nations-led research on domestic and family violence, as part of our concrete action towards ending violence against women and children within a generation. This targeted investment is the next stage in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Action Plan under The National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children 2022-32 and reflects the need for concrete action by culturally informed data and evidence eco-system, created and managed by First Nations peoples.