Draft Productivity Commission Report Findings a Win for Australian Families

The Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning released their draft report on 22 July, 2014. One of the key recommendations was to look at options - within existing funding parameters - for improving the accessibility, flexibility and affordability of childcare for families with diverse circumstances. The report has recommended that qualified nannies and other regulated in home childcare be included in government subsidies.

DIAL-AN-ANGEL is excited by the proposals outlined in the draft report because families from all walks of life have been asking for more financial support and flexibility with in-home childcare. We believe that making flexible childcare options available to all Australian families is beneficial for children, family carers and the economy.

Danielle Robertson, CEO of DIAL-AN-ANGEL prepared a submission for the commission on behalf of the Agency, and is pleased that the productivity commission has listened to the wishes and concerns of parents, highlighting the need for significant changes within government legislation to improve the state of childcare in Australia.

One of the key recommendations is that grandparents, nannies or babysitters could be eligible for a government payment if they had at least a Certificate III in early childhood education. Nannies are professionals, trained to care and educate children in the home, including nannies in government subsidies will ensure all nannies employed by families have the correct qualifications and all Australian children will enjoy the benefits from receiving the highest quality of care possible.

Subsidising nannies and other qualified in home child carers will have a remarkable affect on working families, particularly those working outside of traditional hours. It is important that the government keep its commitment to support parents working outside of traditional 9-5 hours such as our nurses, emergency personnel, FIFO personnel and many other shift workers. The Governments plans would lead to a drop in the proportion of fees parents pay, increase the number of hours used per week and encourage up to 47,000 more mothers back to work.

DIAL-AN-ANGEL continues to manage the Make Care Fair initiative, running a petition calling our ministers to take action and provide affordable, flexible childcare. The support for this petition has highlighted the desire within the community for more options when it comes to childcare.

Make sure you have your say! You can make a comment on the report here until September 5, 2014. In addition, keep liking, signing and sharing our petition, we will be passing your comments on to the productivity commission. The final report is expected to be released by the end of October 2014.