Australian PM Defends Lack of Childcare Funding

October 6, 2020 Updated: October 7, 2020

The prime minister has been forced to defend the lack of focus on child care in the federal budget.

Child care barely rates a mention in the latest economic blueprint.

Targeted funding for about 3000 providers in Victoria is being extended until January and parents across the rest of the country will be given easier activity test requirements until April.

But there were no major funding commitments or new initiatives for the sector, which was among the hardest hit by the coronavirus-induced recession.

One idea floated by various economists and interest groups was to offer free child care as a way to help more women re-enter the workforce.

But Scott Morrison said that would only serve to give massive subsidies to those on higher incomes.

“I don’t see how that would be a fair thing to do to those on low to middle income earners who need that support,” he told the ABC on Oct 7.

Morrison said the government already funded 85 percent of childcare fees for low and middle income earners and spent $9 billion on the sector each year.

By Daniel McCulloch