Draft Bill Proposes $10 Childcare And Guaranteed Days For All Children

The new draft bill wants to reform childcare in Australia.
Draft bill proposes $10 childcareGetty

A new draft bill has launched at parliament house with the aim to make childcare more accessible for all Australian families.

The proposed bill wants to guarantee three days of childcare per week for all children aged five and under, and cap the cost at $10 per day.

In addition, the draft bill also wants to make childcare completely free for low-income families and establish 52 weeks of paid parental leave to be shared between two parents.

The initiative is driven by Thrive by Five, a national campaign for childcare reform from Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation.

$10 childcare proposed in Australia.
(Credit: Getty)

Thrive by Five CEO and former South Australian premier, Jay Weatherill, launched the proposal in Canbera with Victorian independent MP Zoe Daniel and representatives from The Parenthood, Children and Young People with Disability Australia and Welcoming Australia.

“This law would enshrine the universal rights of all Australian families and children, and act as a roadmap for long-term, durable and coordinated reform of the whole early childhood sector.” Mr Weatherill said.

“The evidence shows the first five years of life are absolutely crucial for social and cognitive development, and high-quality early learning experiences not only set children up to do well at school, they also have life-long positive impacts,” Mr Weatherill said.

“But too many Australian children today are not able to attend childcare and preschool because their parents cannot afford it, or they cannot get a place close to home.

“Many families say the cost of early learning is akin to that of a second mortgage. Others are turned away from their local childcare centre or preschool because the waitlist is astronomically long.

“We would never stand for that happening with primary or secondary education – early years education should be no different.”

Still in its draft stages, the bill is currently calling for feedback and co-sponsorship from MPs.

“We are calling on politicians from all sides to be part of history by making early childhood education a universal right in Australia, just as Medicare made healthcare a universal right,” Mr Weatherill said.

“This is smart policy that would deliver on multiple fronts: it would ease cost-of-living pressures for families, it would ease workforce shortages and boost productivity, and most importantly it would enable all Australian children to thrive by five.”

Australia wouldn’t be the first place to adopt affordable and accessible childcare like this—Quebec in Canada has successfully implemented a $10-a-day childcare model.

If Australia takes this bill further, there’s no doubt that it will bring transformative change for the country.

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