Australian Greens Senator and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has called on the federal government to scrap the Activity Test for the Child Care Subsidy immediately. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, it is critical that families continue to receive subsidised child care.
Senator Faruqi said:
“As workplaces suspend operations and cut shifts, families become unable to meet the Activity Test and may lose access to subsidised child care. We must not let this happen.
“The activity test should be scrapped immediately and properly subsidised childcare made available to more families, not fewer.
“Shamefully, more than three million Australians are in jobs that offer no access to paid leave. Many of these are parents and carers of the more than 1.6 million children who attend child care services approved for the Subsidy, and who may lose out on subsidies and childcare altogether.
“Across the board, people in precarious employment are likely to be some of the most harshly impacted by this public health crisis. Those who are currently meeting the activity test through volunteering or education will also lose out in wake of the virus as these opportunities are cancelled.
“Scrapping the test immediately is a sensible and straightforward measure to ensure families do not face increased costs or lose access to care in these turbulent times.
“Scrapping the test is just the start. We should be investing in making childcare free for all and extending universal access to early childhood education.”