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Labor’s promise of ‘cheaper child care’ delivers higher fees and no new places for regional Victoria

Joint media release

Senator the Hon Sarah Henderson, Shadow Minister for Education, Senator for Victoria
Angie Bell, Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Shadow Minister for Youth

During the last election, Labor promised Victorian families would be better off under them, but their ‘cheaper child care’ policy has only delivered higher fees, longer waitlists, no access and further pressure on the sector.

Shadow Minister for Education, Sarah Henderson, said families across regional Victoria have been expecting higher child care subsidies to help tackle cost of living pressures and have been left in the lurch by the Albanese Government.

“Time and time again, Labor promised lower costs for early childhood education, but all it has delivered is higher fees, leaving many parents further out of pocket than they were before,” Senator Henderson said.

“Education Minister Jason Clare is tone-deaf to the cost of living crisis so many Australians are facing. Labor’s policy to deliver ‘cheaper child care’ is an absolute failure. Australian families are being hit with higher costs with no relief in sight,” Senator Henderson said.

Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education, Angie Bell, said the Albanese Government has left families in a worse position than 12 months ago.

“Labor promised to deliver Australian families lower out of pocket costs, and yet under them, early childhood education fees have already increased by 6.5 per cent in just six months,” Ms Bell said.

“The almost immediate loss of the subsidy is putting more pressure on many families who are already struggling through this cost of living crisis, and the Albanese Government has no plans to help them.

“We warned this Government time and time again that this would happen, and they waved us off, saying fees wouldn’t rise and families would get much needed relief. It’s clear they have no idea what they’re doing.”

Many families have been scrambling to find a place for their children or access extra days so they can return to work or study. Instead of accessing those places, they’ve found themselves stuck on waitlists alongside hundreds of other families.

“We continue to hear stories from families, particularly in regional and rural Australia who currently have no access to early childhood education, and are unable to return to work,” Ms Bell said.

“The regions are the backbone of this country, and the Albanese Government has left them behind. Without further investment in the sector, particularly in the regions, many children will be unable to access the education and care they need.”

With no plan to increase access, no plan to address rising fees and no plan to address workforce concerns – it’s clear this Labor Government has no idea what they’re doing.

The last time Labor was in Government early childhood education fees skyrocketed by 53 per cent in just six years.

With out of pocket costs rising again, Australian families deserve to know why they’re always worse off under Labor.

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