Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that Labor’s Budget in Reply commitment to increase child care subsidies and move towards a 90 per cent universal subsidy would be an improvement on the current system, but the party should go all the way and make early childhood education fee-free.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Early childhood education and care should be fee-free for all families.
“A universal subsidy of 90 per cent would certainly be an improvement, but why stop there?
“We don’t argue about whether public schooling should be 90 per cent subsidised or fully covered. It’s simply a public good that should be universal and free.
“At the last federal election, Bill Shorten committed to make childcare free for households earning less than $70,000. It’s really disappointing not to see the same commitment here. Those low-income families will continue to pay for childcare under Labor’s new plan.
“This year the government flirted – very briefly – with free and universal childcare. There is no reason why we can’t have it again. Today the government is passing billions of dollars worth of tax cuts through the parliament, but continuing to cry poor when it comes to early learning.”