Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan AO, is critical of the new funding arrangements for childcare subsidies. Ms McGowan is pressuring the Government guarantees families using mobile childcare are eligible to receive subsidies.
“The new funding program fails to take into account families in rural and regional Australia who currently rely on mobile services,” Ms McGowan said.
“In the proposed changes, there is no consideration for rural families that have no access to centre-based childcare centres. There are 42 mobile childcare services in rural and regional Australia. On the Border, the Community Early Years Centre caters for seven local government areas, including four in Indi. Families relying on mobile childcare in the North East need Government support.”
Ms McGowan said the Government must acknowledge one size of childcare subsidy does not fit all services. Other than kindergarten, many rural families are unable to access childcare services and are ineligible for a subsidy.
“I call on the Government to clearly demonstrate how they will support families living in places such as Chiltern, Mount Beauty, Yackandandah and Corryong relying on mobile services,” Ms McGowan said. “If there is no childcare centre, there is no subsidy. This is another example of one size not fitting all.”
In Question Time this week, Ms McGowan called on the Government to explain how it would guarantee adequate financial help for families to access this important service.
“All the research shows mobile childcare services are effective and deliver positive outcomes. They deserve support, not cuts,” Ms McGowan said.
Following the Government’s response in Parliament, Ms McGowan has written to the Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, and will continue to press the Government to ensure families have adequate support for this effective childcare service.
“The National Association of Mobile Services is visiting Canberra to lobby Government and I will be giving my full support to their lobbying,” she said.
View the Minister for Vocational Education and Skills, Luke Hartsuyker’s response in Question Time online. Ms McGowan also delivered a speech in Parliament outlining the benefits of mobile childcare services to rural families.